Texas is unlikely to turn blue despite a close race between President Trump and Democratic nominee Joe Biden in the key state, retiring Rep. Mac Thornberry said in an exclusive interview with Fox News correspondent Jennifer Griffin on Friday.
“I don’t think so. I think it will be closer than it’s been in a very long time and Texas will be more of a political battleground than at any time in my political lifetime,” Thornberry said.
The Biden campaign and top Democrats have expressed optimism about their chances in the Lone Star State this election cycle. A Democratic candidate hasn’t won the state since former President Jimmy Carter accomplished the feat in 1976.
With days to go until Election Day, Texas is widely seen as a toss-up. An average of recent polls compiled by Real Clear Politics showed Trump with a slight edge over his Democratic rival.
Thornberry argued that some aspects of Trump’s behavior since he entered the White House may have turned off a portion of Texas voters.
“Texas is changing. Plus, a number of people who have reflexively voted Republican over the years are having problems with President Trump’s tone and manner,” Thornberry said. “But you know, character is an issue, too.”
Thornberry, a former Homeland Security Committee chairman, expressed confidence that the 2020 election is safe from cyberattacks or other efforts from foreign adversaries to influence the outcome. He warned that internal divisions, not threats from overseas, were a bigger risk to America’s long-term security.
“I’m often asked, what keeps you up at night, and it’s no foreign threats that worry me,” he said. “We can handle China, Russia, Iran, terrorists. The one thing we can’t handle is if we self-destruct.”
Thornberry announced last year that he would not seek re-election in Texas’ 13th congressional district after a 26-year run in Congress.