Trump took the state after weeks of neck-and-neck polling with Democrat candidate and former vice president Joe Biden. Each candidate tended to fluctuate with the trends that gripped headlines this election season: COVID-19 numbers and the economy. Economic breakthroughs tended to boost Trump and rising infection rates often correlated with Biden poll spikes.
Biden’s plan to phase out oil and gas was a major talking point of the Trump campaign in oil-fueled Texas. According to the Texas Oil and Gas Association’s annual report, the industry employed 428,000 Texans before the pandemic began shaving jobs off the oil business as prices plummeted.
This election drew record turnout in many counties with over 9 million votes cast during early voting — more than half of all registered voters and greater than the total turnout in the 2016 presidential election.
Biden made it through Election Day without visiting Texas, though running mate Kamala Harris visited late in the season. Former senate candidate Beto O’Rourke stumped for Biden with a number of Texas luminaries, including Willie Nelson.
Currently, the national result is up in the air and may stay there as counties tally up mail-in ballots, which should pull strongly for Biden.
Trump won Texas by a modest nine-point margin over Democrat Hillary Clinton in 2016. A 2016 electoral map of Texas shows a sea of red pocked with blue on the map at Austin, Houston, San Antonio, and Dallas, all north of a strong blue streak along the valley broken only by the far west Hudspeth and Brewster Counties. Jefferson County was the state’s lone pivot county in 2016, meaning it voted for Trump that year after voting for Obama in 2012.
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