Opinion- Texas proves more important in this election than in past

Geographical+map+of+Texas%2C+displayed+as+a+political+gradient%2C+wears+a+cowboy+hat+and+an+%22I+Voted%22+sticker.+Texas+has+long+been+seen+as+a+a+%22red%22+state%2C+but+this+year+specifically+puts+that+into+question.+%22What+this+means+is+that+students+in+Texas+need+to+get+involved+now%2C%22+senior+and+columnist+Wesley+Barrett+said.+%22With+Texas+at+the+forefront+of+political+issues%2C+now+is+the+time+to+get+ready+for+the+midterms+in+2022%2C+the+presidential+race+in+2024%2C+and+beyond.%22

Harvey Watkins

Geographical map of Texas, displayed as a political gradient, wears a cowboy hat and an “I Voted” sticker. Texas has long been seen as a a “red” state, but this year specifically puts that into question. “What this means is that students in Texas need to get involved now,” senior and columnist Wesley Barrett said. “With Texas at the forefront of political issues, now is the time to get ready for the midterms in 2022, the presidential race in 2024, and beyond.”

Wesley Barrett, Columnist

Texas has a few colors on it’s flag, but when it comes to elections, especially for presidents, it has always been red.

Texas’s dependable nature has meant that it’s often forgotten in national elections, but that doesn’t mean its importance doesn’t exist.

Texas has the second highest population in the United States, after California, and the second largest amount of electoral votes, at 38. This means that in terms of electing a president, Texas has a large say.

The state is also at the forefront of several political issues. Texas’s border with Mexico puts it directly in front of the immigration issue. Additionally, Texas has a massive economy, so much so that if it were an independent nation, it would be the 10th largest in the world.

All of this being said, its huge electorate and tangible footprint on political issues are crucial to elections, but its reliability never gave it the chance to shine.

This changed in 2018.

During the 2018 midterm elections, democratic challenger Beto O’Rourke lost to republican incumbent Ted Cruz by a surprisingly slim margin of less than 2%. This election demonstrated an apparent crack in the red wall of Texas, and cemented a more competitive state. This has only become more true in 2020.

More advertising and even campaigning in Texas by the Biden campaign suggest that flipping it could be in reach for democrats, and even if it’s unlikely, the fact of the matter is that it it possible. Recent holistic polling data shows that Biden has about a 38% of winning Texas, which is closer than it has been in years.

What this means is that students in Texas need to get involved now. With Texas at the forefront of political issues, now is the time to get ready for the midterms in 2022, the presidential race in 2024, and beyond. Given the fact that the impact of younger voters has grown in recent years, people like us will have some of the biggest say in coming years.

They say everything’s bigger in Texas, and this year that also applies to Texas’ political power.