Houston Matters

Seriously Now — is Texas Really in Play This Election?

Six weeks ago the Washington Post unveiled a poll on the U.S. presidential race, which found Republican Donald Trump and Democrat Hillary Clinton neck and neck in Texas. It was, frankly, hard to believe. No other major poll had shown such a result. So, we brought the paper’s polling manager on to explain the methodology used. Then, we […]

TXDecides Election BannerSix weeks ago the Washington Post unveiled a poll on the U.S. presidential race, which found Republican Donald Trump and Democrat Hillary Clinton neck and neck in Texas. It was, frankly, hard to believe. No other major poll had shown such a result. So, we brought the paper’s polling manager on to explain the methodology used. Then, we considered whether the Lone Star State was really in play in the presidential race for the first time in decades (Texas has voted Republican in every presidential election since 1976). Among our guests was area political scientist and pollster Bob Stein from Rice University.

Well, it’s a funny thing: In recent days, Stein co-supervised a poll on behalf of The Hobby School of Public Affairs at the University of Houston. That poll released Tuesday (Oct. 18, 2016) found the presidential race in Texas fell within the margin of error, with Donald Trump leading Hillary Clinton by just three percentage points — this despite the fact that less than half of Republican respondents believe Trump will be elected President.

We discuss these and other findings with Bob Stein and Richard Murray from the University of Houston as we revisit the question: Wait, seriously now, is Texas in play?

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