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The Brief: Will a higher voter turnout spell trouble for the GOP?

Demographic shifts are leading to Democratic gains in areas such as Houston's north side.

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The Big Conversation

With over 15 million Texans registered to vote in the November election, both Republicans and Democrats are hoping for a large voter turnout. 

As Mike Ward of the Houston Chronicle and Peggy Fikac of the San Antonio Express-News reportsome Republicans are worried about losing parts of Texas because many in their own party dislike GOP presidential nominee Donald Trump. “I think most people generally turn out to vote because of hate or fear, and this election for president is all about just that,” said Jan Marks, a Houston Republican who said she will vote for Clinton.

Another obstacle that may affect how Republicans fare at the local, state and national level are demographic shifts in various parts of the state. Mihir Zaveri and Matt Dempsey of the Houston Chronicle report that of 219 ZIP codes in Greater Houston with populations over 1,000 people, 34 voted for Democrats by increasing margins in each election, while only 19 shifted Republican. In addition, a growing number of Hispanic residents are identifying as Democrats due to the anti-immigrant rhetoric of Trump.

"Republicans have become a party primarily of Anglos, and the Democrats have become a party primarily of everyone else, and everyone else continues to increase in percentages,” said Stephen Klineberg, a sociologist and author of yearly population and attitudinal studies at Rice University's Kinder Institute.

Trib Must Reads

El Salvador journalist faces threats from gangs, government, by Jay Root — Jorge Beltran, a newspaper editor in the murder capital of the world, had to move his own family to keep them safe from gang violence.

Analysis: A history lesson amid Texas Democrats’ hopes of a blue November, by Ross Ramsey — Texas Democrats have pined for years for a candidate who could turn their luck around. Now they're hoping a Republican will answer their prayers.

Hurd raises almost twice as much as Gallego in latest report, by Patrick Svitek — The incumbent entered the final stretch of the campaign with a large cash advantage in the hotly contested swing congressional district.

Despite Abbott's boasts, state has not blocked Planned Parenthood funds, by Edgar Walters and Alexa Ura — Gov. Greg Abbott and other state officials are largely silent on why they haven't fulfilled their vow to cut off funds to women's health programs offered to poor Texas women by Planned Parenthood.

Texas primary turnout lagged behind all but a few states, by Jolie McCullough — Texas ranked eighth-to-last in voter turnout for the presidential primaries.

Amid turnout concerns, Cruz steps up travel for Texas Republicans, by Patrick Svitek — U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, is set to appear at a trio of events next week in support of his goal of making sure conservatives don't sit out the November elections.

Trump's campaign spiral jolts Hurd-Gallego rematch, by Patrick Svitek — Most Texas Republican leaders have largely stood by Donald Trump, but one has fully distanced himself — U.S. Rep. Will Hurd, locked in a heated rematch with Pete Gallego.

Judge tells school to change name back to South Texas College of Law, by Matthew Watkins — The private law school picked a new name strikingly similar to the higher-ranked University of Houston law school.  

Everything you need to know about Zika and Texas, by Bobby Blanchard — The virus isn't spreading via mosquitos in Texas — yet. 

The Day Ahead

•    House members on the Public Education Committee will take up the perennially contentious issue of school choice at a morning hearing in the Capitol extension. Lawmakers are working to make recommendations on whether the state should further expand school choice.


(Links below lead to outside websites; content might be behind paywall)

McManus punishes cops who wore Trump caps on duty, San Antonio Express-News

8 Republicans sent into distant orbit by Trump's 2016 odyssey, CNN

Where rhetoric meets reality: Texans have lived with a border wall for years, San Antonio Express-News

Sen. John Cornyn on Trump's rigged election claims: Wait and see, The Dallas Morning News

Voter fraud being investigated by state in Tarrant County, Fort Worth Star-Telegram

Feds charge 10 more in $100 million Dallas fraud against military health care system, The Dallas Morning News

Texas oil money still priming the pump for Trump, Austin American-Statesman

Garcia: Pelosi and Ryan are shadow figures in Dist. 23 race, San Antonio Express-News

Quote to Note

"The firebombing in NC is similar to what happened in Texas to the Gov Mansion years ago and in MN. Homegrown Liberal Terrorists. Catch them."

Griffin Perry, son of former Gov. Rick Perry, in a tweet posted Sunday following the fire-bombing of a North Carolina GOP office

Today in TribTalk

Taxpayer-funded union work violates the Texas Constitution, by Robert Henneke and Jon Riches — Government agencies allowing public employees to work for a private labor union is not only bad policy, it's also unconstitutional in Texas.

News From Home

•    The kind of ambitious journalism we provide is free to consume but not to create. We make it happen, but members make it possible. Please give generously during the Tribune's Fall Member Drive.

Trib Events for the Calendar

•   The Texas Response To Zika on Oct. 18 at BCBSTX Headquarters in Richardson

•   The Ticket: A Live Recording and Presidential Debate Watch Party on Oct. 19 at KLRU Studio 6A

•   A Conversation with U.S. Rep Michael McCaul on Oct. 25 at The Austin Club 

•   "Along Came Kinky" Screening and Conversation on Oct. 27 at the LBJ Library

•   A Symposium on Transportation on Nov. 3 at Texas A&M University - Rudder Tower 

•   A Conversation with U.S. Rep. Beto O'Rourke on Nov. 4 at The Austin Club 

•   A Conversation with state Reps. Andrew Murr and Jason Isaac on Nov. 14 at Schreiner University in Kerrville

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