Texas is a state that hasn't voted for a Democrat in a presidential election since 1976, and it hasn't really been close since then. Mitt Romney won the state by 16 points in 2012, and John McCain won the Lone Star State by 12 points. Even Bob Dole managed to squeak out a 48-43 victory over Bill Clinton and Ross Perot in 1996. That's why this new poll, which shows Donald Trump with only a seven-point lead, should be cause for a raised eyebrow or two.
The poll, conducted by KTVT-CBS 11 / Dixie Strategies, put Trump at 45 points to Hillary Clinton's 38. According to pollsters, this is some serious under-performing for the Republican Party this late in the game.
Pollster Brian Graham of Dixie Strategies joined CBS 11’s Jack Fink on Facebook Live Wednesday afternoon to discuss the results.While Trump is clearly still ahead in the race, Graham said, “He really should be doing a lot better. There’s no reason why, at this late stage in the game that he should be under 50 percent in the state of Texas.”
Not much has changed for Trump since early August in a previous KTVT – CBS 11 / Dixie Strategies poll while Clinton has actually gained 3 percentage points. In August, about 46 percent of respondents said they would vote for Trump if the election were held at that time and 35 percent said they would vote for Clinton.
While it's unlikely that Republicans will actually lose Texas, these numbers certainly aren't ideal. Trump shouldn't be struggling in places like Texas (and Georgia)--he should be up by comfortable, double-digit values. He has to make up some ground big time and gain the confidence of these voters.