Sanders' success in Texas is an expression of a real change that, given the very demographics Democrats have been anticipating for years, will continue to shape the party’s electoral fortunes.
As the 2020 election campaign gets underway in Texas, independents have become more important -- and more interesting. They are more important because Texas elections appear to be more politically competitive than they’ve been since before the turn of the century. They are more interesting both because their votes have the possibility of determining some election outcomes, and because their responses to the most powerful political figure shaping the 2020 election, Donald Trump, are much more divided and less fixed than are those of traditional partisans, most noticeably on the subject of Trump’s impeachment. This combination of factors makes independent voters more consequential in Texas elections than at anytime in recent memory, yet harder to handicap when it comes to their voting behavior.
Do the majority of Texans who call themselves independents actually behave that way at the polls? The inaugural UT/TT poll provides a decisive answer to that question: No.