Election 2016

Why Texas Will Get Little Attention From Trump Or Clinton During Presidential Campaign

Both presidential candidates are likely to view dollars spent in solid-red Texas as dollars wasted and could be invested in swing states.


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Now that the Republican and Democratic conventions are over, the presidential candidates are hitting the campaign trail. But that trail may not run through Texas.

The first day of the general election contest saw Donald Trump speaking in Colorado. Hillary Clinton and her running mate, Tim Kaine, bused through Pennsylvania and Ohio.

Houston Public Media's Coverage of Election 2016

Houston Public Media's Coverage of Election 2016

Mark Jones, a fellow in political science at Rice University's Baker Institute, says that, from now through November, the candidates will focus most of their efforts on swing states like these.

"The only reason that either Trump or Clinton would visit Texas would be to use it as an ATM for money for their campaign in other states, in places like Florida and Ohio and Virginia, where the presidential contest is likely to be decided," Jones says.

That doesn't just mean the candidates will skimp on personal appearances here. It also means Texans will see a lot fewer campaign ads on TV compared to voters in other states.

"I would be surprised if there are any media buys in Texas," Jones says, "or if there are any media buys, they're going to be purely symbolic. There will most likely be far more dollars spent in New Hampshire than in the entire state of Texas, even though Texas is almost twenty times the size of New Hampshire in terms of population."

The argument goes that a dollar spent in Texas is a dollar that can't be used in the dozen or so states that could tip either way, deciding not just who wins the White House, but also which party controls Congress.

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Andrew Schneider

Andrew Schneider

Politics and Government Reporter

Andrew heads Houston Public Media's coverage of national, state, and local elections. He also reports on major policy issues before the Texas Legislature and county and city governments across Greater Houston. Before taking up his current post, Andrew spent five years as Houston Public Media's business reporter, covering the oil...

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