Tweets and emails add another twist to presidential race

Sid Miller (KXAN Photo)
Sid Miller (KXAN Photo)

AUSTIN (NEXSTAR) — The topsy-turvy presidential race has been unpredictable and with election day in sight, the final stretch is proving to be full of surprises.

Some thought the race was over but just six days from the election, another twist. “All of the sudden it’s become a very tight race,” said David Butts, a political consultant in Texas.

Just last week, the majority of national polls had Hillary Clinton with a sizable lead over Donald Trump. Now, the latest numbers show the two major candidates are in a dead heat and some polls give Trump the edge, with a slight lead over his Democratic rival.

According to most national polls, Clinton’s numbers have not dropped but Trump’s support has gone up. To explain the shift in the polls, Butts pointed to the latest controversy over Clinton’s private email server and the renewed interest from the FBI Director. “Republicans who had doubts about Trump have now been given the green light to go ahead and support Trump because ‘you can’t trust Hillary,’” Butts said.

Texas Democrats zeroed in on a different controversy Wednesday. Democratic women gathered inside the party’s state headquarters in Austin, united against a now-deleted tweet. Sent from the account of Texas Agriculture Commissioner, Sid Miller, the tweet used an obscene, four letter word to describe Clinton.

“It seems like the Republican leadership in the state and in this country can’t act right for five minutes,” said Gina Hinojosa, who is running for an Austin seat in the Texas House. Miller, who serves as a member of Trump’s Agricultural Advisory Committee, has become Trump’s go-to guy in Texas.

“We have given up all hope of Republican leadership in this state holding Donald Trump or any of the other Republican leaders accountable,” Hinojosa said. The tweet did prompt a response from the state’s top Republican, Governor Greg Abbott condemned Miller’s tweet Wednesday.

“The language is reprehensible and is an embarrassment,” Gov. Abbott said in a statement. “No true Texas gentleman would ever talk this way.” Miller’s campaign claims his staff accidentally re-posted a tweet that they did not know contained a derogatory term.

Miller apologized for the language used in the tweet posted Tuesday. Crystal Perkins, the Executive Director of the Democratic Party of Texas said, “Actions speak louder than words and an apology at this point doesn’t really matter anymore.”

With signs that advertised the hashtags “StopTXTrumps” and “RespectWomen,” the Democrats called on Texas women to get out and vote. “We have seen this play out before when Donald Trump disparaged women,” Hinojosa said, “It’s up to us to hold them accountable.”

She, along with other women, criticized Texas Republicans for not doing or saying more about the tweet. “It’s degrading, it’s embarrassing and I’ve had enough,” said Diana Arevalo, a Democrat who will take over as the House Representative for District 116 in January.

The Democratic Party’s success greatly hinges on “suburban, white, women who normally vote Republican,” Butts said. Although it’s very probable that Trump will carry Texas, Butts said women voters have the power to shape the race in the historically red state.

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