Texas: the newest swing state? The nonpartisan Cook Political Report has shifted the state from Lean Republican to Toss Up, saying polling shows "a 2-4 point race," in line with the 2018 Senate race in which Sen. Ted Cruz only narrowly defeated Beto O'Rourke. Axios notes that while the Lone Star State hasn't backed a Democrat for president since Jimmy Carter in 1976, changing demographics have helped make the state more favorable territory for Democrats. The Cook report says polls show "Biden running strong in and around metro suburban parts of the state, but underperforming with Latino voters."
The Trump campaign says the Republican is poised to win Texas, though Democrats say record-breaking early voting numbers are grounds for optimism. "Turnout is completely unprecedented, and you better bet that the folks who are turning out are not turning out to keep the status quo," Harris County Judge Lina Hidalgo tells the Texas Tribune. The Cook report notes that Trump's path to 270 electoral votes has narrowed: If he wins GOP-leaning states along with Texas and all the other locations rated Toss Up—Florida, Georgia, North Carolina, Iowa, Ohio, and Maine's 2nd congressional district—he will still be 22 electoral votes short of 270. (In 2016, a pollster predicted a narrow Trump win in Texas.)