AUSTIN (AP) — Texas didn’t change with Donald Trump on the ballot. But the differences could be dramatic with him in the White House.READ MORE: Dallas Police Officer Arrested For Domestic Assault
A wall stretching along the entire 2,000-mile border with Mexico. Millions of immigrants potentially closer to deportation. The U.S. Supreme Court, restocked with Trump appointees, tilting in favor of divisive Texas laws over abortion and voting rights.
All is possible after the billionaire easily won Texas and then the presidency early Wednesday, stunning Democrat Hillary Clinton and the world. What’s next could be an agenda that carries high stakes for Texas’ sizeable immigrant population and relationship with Mexico, and a Trump administration where Texas Republicans old and new could find powerful jobs.
Trump didn’t clinch as dominant a Texas victory as past Republican nominees: His lead was nine points as Texas shattered turnout records with more than 8.2 million voters. Although still a landslide for Trump, his victory stands as the state’s closest presidential race in 20 years.
But Texas Democrats are unlikely to find silver linings in the final tallies. Some of their top political adversaries — Republican Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick, Agriculture Commissioner Sid Miller — are longtime Trump surrogates who are now poised to feel more empowered in a state already liberally salted with their conservative politics and worldview.
Just days before the election, Miller’s Twitter account called Clinton a vulgar obscenity, which the professional calf-roper deleted and said was mistakenly retweeted.
Patrick said Texas will now have a “good friend” in the White House and hinted that Texas’ constant barrage of lawsuits against the federal government could finally cease.
“This is a great night for our country and a great night for Texas. It is a new day in America,” Patrick said in a statement. “The voices of voters who have been ignored by the Washington establishment, the Democrat establishment and the media establishment, finally were heard loud and clear.”READ MORE: Much Happening In DFW For Juneteenth Including Walk With Opal Lee
Republican Gov. Greg Abbott, who didn’t campaign for Trump and conspicuously avoided saying his name at GOP rallies before Election Day, spent the historic night at home in his Austin mansion. He congratulated Trump and said it was “abundantly clear” that millions of Americans felt ignored by Washington.
U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz reluctantly embraced his party’s nominee after failing to beat Trump in the primary, and exit polls suggested that his popularity may have paid a price because of it.
Trump’s victory — and Patrick’s winning all-in bet on the businessman — carried the promise of an even farther rightward GOP that its former standard-bearers likely couldn’t have imagined even a decade ago. In Dallas, a spokesman for former President George W. Bush and wife Laura said they declined to vote for either Trump or Clinton — a rare and remarkable instance of a former president rejecting his party’s presidential nominee.
Trump promised during his bombastic campaign to build a wall across the entirety of the U.S.-Mexico border, called Mexican immigrants “rapists,” vowed mass deportations and provoked tensions with Mexico over trade as well as immigration.
His toughest crackdowns don’t sit well with the majority of Texas voters, according to results from exit polling conducted for The Associated Press. They were divided about the wall — although Trump supporters backed the idea by a 3-1 margin — and more than 7 in 10 voters believe that immigrants working in the country illegally should be given the chance to apply for legal status and not be deported.
Tony Olivo, a 49-year-old driver for a printing company in Dallas, was born in America to parents who both legally immigrated to America from the Dominican Republic. He voted for Trump and said he wasn’t been offended by Trump’s comments about Hispanics.
“A lot of people come to this country and they do it the right way. They pay a lot of money. They wait a lot of years, like my Dad did, had to wait a couple of years for him to bring my mom here,” Olivo said.
Hispanics went for Clinton 2-1 but didn’t back her any more than they did Barack Obama in 2008. That’s a likely discouraging sign for beleaguered Texas Democrats, who have banked on a booming Hispanic population to end two winless decades in statewide races. Trump’s win means the state hasn’t supported a Democrat for president since Jimmy Carter 40 years ago.MORE NEWS: Drowning In Grapevine Lake Prompts Warning From First Responders
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