All eyes are on the presidential race as it hinges on a handful of states.
President Donald Trump and former Vice-President Joe Biden each need 270 electoral votes in order to secure the presidency. Trump has been named the projected winner for the state of Texas, with unofficial votes in the historically-republican Tarrant County showing Trump with a thin victory margin over Biden.
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According to the cumulative report from the Tarrant County Elections Administration, 399,342 people in Tarrant County voted for President Trump and 397,174 voted for Joe Biden.
Allison Campolo is president of ‘Tarrant Together’, a voter participation group that collaborates with the Tarrant County Democratic Party. Campolo described the roughly 2,000 vote lead as a “far departure” from 2016 when Trump held an eight-point lead over then challenger Hillary Clinton in Tarrant County. That lead equated to more than 57,000 votes, according to Tarrant County elections records.
“For decades and decades, Tarrant County has been written off as a Republican stronghold. Democratic donors and volunteers and activists really have not come into this county to support democratic efforts. However, that has changed,” Campolo said. “People are finally realizing that is an urban county and demographically, it probably should be a democratic leaning county. There’s no reason it should be such a republican stronghold.”
Rick Barnes, chairman of the Tarrant County Republican Party, said he felt optimistic about the race results so far and believed President Trump will be re-elected. Speaking with NBC 5 on Wednesday, Barnes said he did not find the small victory margin surprising.
“I think we’re experiencing some changes in Tarrant County as far as demographics are concerned. Folks moving in from outside. I also, to their credit, I think the Democrats ran a really strong race for their presidential candidate,” Barnes said. “Tarrant County is very involved in politics. This is a very political county. I think that’s a good thing, frankly, that people are involved in the process. People are voting.”
Bob Ray Sanders co-chaired the Race and Culture Task Force in Fort Worth. On demographics, he noted areas like Arlington and northeast Tarrant County have changed and are growing.
“Both of those areas are much more diverse now, so they have a representation of minorities that they didn’t have 20 years ago,” Sanders said.
The results so far have reaffirmed every vote matters, Sanders said.
“Anyone who says to me ‘my vote doesn’t count’, I say ‘you’re a fool if you think that’, because it just takes a few more people thinking like that,” he said. “If they change their minds, if they thought their vote did count, you could help change the country. Change the country. Your vote counts.”
According to the Tarrant County Elections Administrator, the county still has about 1,200 provisional ballots to count.