The Initial Roger Stone Fallout

The Stone commutation leaves some Republicans cold, Trump dons a mask and Pelosi pushes for another round of relief. It’s Monday, and this is your politics tip sheet.

President Trump wearing a mask on Saturday at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in Bethesda, Md.

With Trump’s poll numbers sagging across the country, Joe Biden’s campaign is seriously considering making investments in states that just months ago Democrats considered out of reach.

The biggest and most consequential of those is Texas, which carries 38 Electoral College votes, second only to California.

Biden received some encouraging news on that front yesterday. The Dallas Morning News released its latest poll of the Lone Star State, and it was the first public survey this year to show Biden with a decisive advantage over Trump there.

Biden had the support of 46 percent of the state’s registered voters, according to the poll, compared with 41 percent for Trump. Other recent surveys have consistently pointed to a close race in Texas, but this was the first to give Biden a lead that exceeded the margin of error.

Texas has voted Republican in every presidential election since 1976. But Democrats see an opportunity to turn that around, driven by the state’s growing Hispanic population and the increasing frustration with Trump among many independent voters, particularly as the pandemic continues to ravage the country.

More than 10,000 people were being hospitalized in Texas over the weekend because of the virus, a 25 percent increase from the week before, according to data compiled by The Texas Tribune.

The Morning News poll also found that M.J. Hegar, the Democratic establishment’s choice to challenge Senator John Cornyn in November, is on track to win the Democratic nomination in Tuesday’s primary election.

In addition to the Senate and presidential races, Texas presents Democrats with a greater number of realistic opportunities to pick up House seats this year than any other state does. A strong showing in November could also help Democrats capture a majority in the Texas State House and on the State Supreme Court. Both bodies could play a crucial role in the redistricting battles that are sure to come in the wake of the 2020 census.

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