Democrats are out to show they're serious about flipping Texas in 2020 by holding Thursday's presidential debate in Houston.
Republicans are coming off their worst election in Texas in a generation, losing two congressional seats and giving Sen. Ted Cruz a scare in his narrow reelection victory.
Fast-changing suburbs that for decades Republicans dominated are trending more liberal. Democrats are counting on shifting demographics and more left-leaning voters moving in from elsewhere to turn the state blue.
But that transformation may not arrive by 2020. Conservative bastions like the booming Dallas suburbs are now being watched as bellwethers with President Donald Trump on the ballot next year.
Trump won Texas by 9 points in 2016, which was the worst showing by a Republican presidential nominee there in two decades.