President Trump won the state of Texas with its 38 electoral votes during Tuesday night’s presidential election, including Zapata County, which he lost by a large margin in 2016 to Hillary Clinton.
Trump won Zapata County 52-to-47 percent over Joe Biden. The president lost the county in 2016 by 32 percent to Hillary Clinton’s 65 percent.
Zapata, a southern border county with a population of more than 14,000 people as of last year, has a 94.7 percent Hispanic population according to data from the U.S. Census Bureau. Republican leaders in recent years, including the Trump campaign, have ramped up their efforts to appeal to Hispanic voters, which helped Trump capture Florida by more than 300,000 votes. Several Latino candidates who support Trump ran in Texas this year, including Texas Statehouse candidate Mike Guevara and congressional candidate Monica de la Cruz.
The president won the entire state of Texas by similar margins to Zapata, carrying the state by 52.3 percent to Biden’s 42.6 percent with 96 percent of precincts reporting.
Texas Senator John Cornyn also won his Senate reelection bid on Tuesday against combat veteran MJ Hegar in spite of generous Democratic spending on her campaign. The three-term Republican also won Zapata County by a sizable 10-point margin.
Hegar had trailed Cornyn by single digits in the polls before the election, the second time in recent years that a Democrat has approached close to defeating a Republican senator in Texas. Representative Beto O’Rourke came close to beating Senator Ted Cruz in 2018.
Remarking after his victory Tuesday evening on Democrats’ spending in Texas, Cornyn said Democrats “had more money than they knew what to do with, so they ended up investing in a long shot in places like Texas.”
Over the last few election cycles, including during congressional races in 2018, Democrats have expressed hope that they could flip the Republican stronghold of Texas with a “blue” wave of Democratic victories. The last Democratic presidential candidate to win Texas was Jimmy Carter in 1976.
Several key battleground states were still too early to call as of Wednesday morning, including North Carolina, Nevada, Wisconsin, Michigan, and Pennsylvania, a state that could be the deciding factor in the election.