AUSTIN (KXAN) — Over the last few weeks, Democrats have been working to expand operations in Texas. Many have opened more offices and bought TV time in the Lone Star State.
Democratic experts expect those candidates who are investing the most to do well.
The latest University of Texas/Texas Tribune Poll shows Sen. Bernie Sanders (D-Vt.) surging ahead in Texas, although President Trump holds a slight lead in a hypothetical matchup.
Michael Bloomberg has focused on Texas and other Super Tuesday states for weeks and it appears it’s had an effect. Bloomberg debuted in fourth place in Texas polls, and has now qualified for the next presidential debate.
Texas Democratic Party officials said it’s clear why so many candidates are focusing on Texas. “Texas is the biggest battleground state in the country,” Abhi Rahman, the communications director for the party, said.
“There’s a second-most amount of delegates. There is the most amount in the most competitive state and really Texas now is halfway to the nomination so Democratic candidates are coming here because they know that without Texas you can’t win this nomination,” Rahman said.
The Texas Democratic Party hopes this election will be the first in decades to turn blue. No Democrat has won a statewide office since 1994. PolitiFact reports that’s the longest losing streak in any state in the country.
A big question — after problems on Election Night in Iowa — is Texas ready? KXAN plans to ask Travis County Clerk Dana DeBeauvoir and will have a report at noon.