NORTH TEXAS (CBSDFW.COM) – Before testing positive for COVID-19, Texas GOP Chair and retired Lt. Col. Allen West said President Donald Trump had scheduled to come to Dallas and Houston next Wednesday, Oct. 7, the same day as the vice presidential debate.
A source said the president planned to hold a fundraiser in Dallas.
West said he recently asked the president to come to Texas before the Nov. 3 election. “When you look between Dallas County, Collin County, then and Tarrant County, that’s where the Democratic Party is really trying to focus to flip the Texas State House.”
He wished the president and First Lady Melania Trump well. “For the President and First Lady, please get well recover soon.”
West said once the president recovers, he hopes to still welcome him to Texas. The Real Clear Politics Average of Polls in the Lone Star State shows the president leading Democrat Joe Biden by three point two percentage points. “I think that everyone understands so goes Texas, so goes America, and the President wants to make sure that Texans understand how critically important he sees Texas as well. So it’s not a matter of desperation as it is encouragement and confidence building.”
Dallas County Democratic Party Chair Carol Donovan said she hopes the president and first lady recover quickly. “I wish him well with regard to the COVID.”
She said any party leader would want their candidate to come to their state and hometown, but that there’s an added urgency this year. “Texas is not right now a definite, definite Republican state, it has been in the past.”
Matthew Eshbaugh-Soha, the chair of the political science department at the University of North Texas, said the president and first lady’s positive COVID-19 tests came as a huge surprise. “It throws the 2020 presidential campaign into chaos, a little bit more chaos than it had been.”
While he said most people have made up their minds about who they’re supporting for president, Eshbaugh-Soha said it makes sense for the president to have scheduled a visit to Texas before the election. “I think Democrats are better positioned to do well. It doesn’t mean they’re going to take the State House or win the U.S. Senate seat from John Cornyn. But I think that suggests that they’re concerned and that a visit from Donald Trump could indeed, embolden some of the voters and excite them to turn out.”
He said there is still time for the president to recover and return to the campaign trail.
Full Interview With Lt. Col. Allen West: