A Republican group plans to spend millions of dollars in Texas as some within the party fear the state could actually be at risk in 2020, The Washington Examiner reports.
Engage Texas, a new political nonprofit organization led by a wealthy Republican campaign contributor, plans to spend $25 million by next November to register more than a million new GOP voters in the state, the report says. Top Texas Republicans and party insiders reportedly believe this group may be "critical" in 2020.
This comes as some Republicans have suggested Trump could be in for a tough re-election fight in Texas, even though a Democratic candidate for president hasn't won the state since Jimmy Carter in 1976 and Trump won it in 2016 by nine points. But Sen. John Cornyn (R-Texas) had previously expressed some concern about the state in 2020 while Texas GOP Chairman James Dickey told the Examiner that "the challenges we face in Texas are very real."
In 2018, former Rep. Beto O'Rourke came surprisingly close to defeating Sen. Ted Crux (R-Texas); it was the first Texas Senate race to come down to a single-digit margin since 1978, The Associated Press reports. Democrats also won two seats in the House of Representatives. Cornyn, who is up for re-election next year, noted to the Examiner that in 2018, "we got hammered not only in the urban areas but in the suburbs, too."
And although it's still quite early in the race, some recent polls may give the Trump campaign cause for concern, with one survey from Quinnipiac showing former Vice President Joe Biden beating the president in the state by four points. With this in mind, one pollster offered the president a warning against ignoring Texas, telling the Examiner, "For Trump, Texas is like Wisconsin was for Clinton." Brendan Morrow