No Republican has lost Texas since 1976 and Democrats tend to ignore the state in presidential elections. But not Biden. He has not only staffed up down there, but is already baiting the president to fight him with a recently released digital spot that charges, “How far is it from Trump saying this is an invasion to the shooter in El Paso declaring this attack as a response to Hispanic invasion of Texas?” They’re trying to gin up Latin hatred for Trump.

Or it could be a Biden “Operation Fortitude” ploy—deceiving your opponent as to your place of attack thus making him deploy resources to counter the non-existent threat.

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Granted, Trump won the deep red state by nine points in the 2016 election. But that was down seven points from Mitt Romney’s win over Obama in Texas in 2012. Yes, hard to believe, but Romney beat Trump’s numbers in Texas. If that slide continues, that is very bad news.

Trump reelection campaign chief Bill Stepien said two weeks ago, “I would invite the Biden campaign to play in Texas. They should play hard. They should go after Texas really, really heavily, spend a lot of money in the Houston and Dallas media markets… These are all states that come back home. We had the same conversations four years ago and we saw they all turned out on election night in November.” So Stepien thinks Biden is pulling an Operation Fortitude or that the Biden people are dumb. Or, Stepien can’t say what he really thinks in public. But that seven-point slide has got to worry him. Though, it doesn’t seem to publicly worry the president.

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But noted political analyst and professor of history at Alvernia University in Pennsylvania, Dr. Tim Blessing sees reason for Trump to be concerned: “Here’s the problem. Geographically the state is veering sharply right. The redder the county, the more the veer toward the Rs. The bluer the county, the more the veer toward the Ds… When you do a regression analysis, though, the problems for the Rs become apparent immediately. The more rural the area, the stronger the shift toward the Rs. That automatically means that the smaller counties (or the shrinking counties) are the ones becoming redder. On the flip side, as everywhere, the urban areas are going blue…but the issue is that the regression analysis holds true there too. The faster a place is growing, the stronger the trend toward the blue. I expected so-called ‘boom towns’ to be going R or at least being somewhat neutral in trend because of the entrepreneurship factor. Not at all, ‘boom towns’ are going D faster than other places.

“So the places that are losing population, hence voters, are the backbone of the R party in Texas. This may not be startling, but it may be fatal. The places that are gaining population, hence voters, are the backbone of the D party. Again, not startling, but quite possibly fatal. The real driver of this trend is division. The smaller areas loath the larger and the larger extremely disdain the smaller. Now the Trump phenomena vastly accelerated these trends. The smaller the place (or the more it is falling behind in voter numbers), the bigger the shift toward Trump—and usually of considerable size in term of percent. The larger the place, or the more quickly it is growing, the bigger the shift against Trump… Trump must turn out more and more of less and less just to stay where he is. So if he is an activist, he loses votes since an activist R deepens the divide that loses Rs votes. If he is stay-at-home he will not turn out his base. Does Texas flip this time? I have no idea.”

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For a respected analyst like Blessing not to automatically call Texas red says something. Let’s hope the Trump campaign, whether they admit it publicly or not, is listening.

This piece was written by David Kamioner on August 3, 2020. It originally appeared in LifeZette and is used by permission.

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