Democratic vice presidential nominee Kamala Harris will makes stops in Fort Worth and McAllen before coming to Houston on Friday, Joe Biden’s campaign has confirmed.
More details on exact locations and times have not been released, but the campaign confirmed that they are adding a stop in McAllen along the Texas border in an effort to drive up turnout in one of the state’s most reliably blue regions.
“Senator Harris visiting this late in the game shows the significance of Texas and is the game-changer Texas Democrats need to put us over the top,” state Democratic officials said in a statement released Wednesday.
Statewide, Texas already has 48 percent turnout in voting just based off early voting and mail-in ballots. But in the border counties, turnout is running well behind. In Hidalgo County, where McAllen is located, about 40 percent have already voted. In neighboring Cameron County, about 37 percent have voted. And further west in Webb County, just 28 percent have turned out so far.
Harris’s visit marks the first time in 30 years a Democratic presidential ticket has campaigned in Texas this close to Election Day.
Republicans say Democrats are dreaming if they think Biden can win the state. Former Texas Gov. Rick Perry earlier this week called the Democratic Party’s ambition of winning Texas a pipe dream and said he’d encourage President Donald Trump to focus his time and resources on true battleground states.
“The president doesn’t need to be in Texas,” Perry said. “He’s going to carry Texas, I think, rather handily.”
But Trump’s Texas campaign chairman, Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick, said on Tuesday that he now believes it will be a closer race than he first predicted. Patrick told KXAN-TV in Austin that he thinks Trump’s win in Texas could be as close as 4 percentage points. For most of the year, he was predicting Trump would win Texas by more than the 9 percentage points he won it by in 2016 over Hillary Clinton.
Public polls have shown the race close. A Quinnipiac University poll released last week showed Trump and Biden both with 47 percent of the vote in Texas.