A charitable explanation is that the media misread the moment because of bad polling.
In the lead-up to the presidential election—which, of course, held enormous sway over down-ballot races—Texans were inundated with state-level polls showing Vice President Joe Biden edging out President Trump in the Lone Star State. A narrative was pushed and the media trumpeted much of it without question.
National polls added to the problem. Many promised a Biden victory. Some, like the University of Texas at Dallas’ Cometrends survey, predicted a landslide. A blue wave was imminent, or so they said.
But Election Day gave truth to the lie. Trump took Texas by almost 6 percentage points in the end, spurring a rout of the Texas Democratic Party and allowing the Texas GOP to extend its gains into some traditionally blue areas, like the Rio Grande Valley and Zapata County.
Bad polling led the media astray. But so, too, did a mistaken belief.
For years, a passive press has accepted the argument that Texas isn’t a red state, it’s “a non-voting state.” Activating those nonvoters would tilt the balance of power toward progressives, they alleged. But the election proved that a farce too. A staggering 66% of registered voters turned out for the November 2020 election, the most since 1992. The result: Texas conservatives stand dominant.
So why does any of this matter? Why pick on the commentariat now? Because there’s a lesson to be learned here—an important reminder before the start of a brutal 2021 legislative session.
It is this: The media was wrong. Wrong about Biden taking Texas. Wrong about Texas being a battleground. Wrong about the Texas House flipping. Wrong, wrong, wrong.