Just one night after the Donald Trump juggernaut rolled through Houston ahead of the latest Republican debate, where he traded barbs with his nearest rivals Sen. Marco Rubio and Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, the New York businessman will host a political rally in Fort Worth Friday afternoon to prep for the crucial Super Tuesday primaries.
Texas is proving to be a symbolic battleground for Trump, as winning there would undermine Cruz in his home state. But judging from current polls, the Texas senator is expected to edge out his nearest rival by a little over 7 percent, according to an average of polls conducted earlier this week. A Monmouth University poll put Cruz ahead by 15 percentage points, while a Tegan poll had the two GOP rivals tied.
But Trump’s hard line on illegal immigration could help him overcome the deficit in a state that has proven itself to be tough on immigration in the past. Texas, which shares a 1,254-mile border with Mexico, is one of the first destinations for Central and South American immigrants coming into the U.S. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, 38.6 percent of the Texas population are considered Latino or Hispanic, more than double the national average.
Trump's proposed immigration policy of building a wall along the U.S.-Mexican border and getting Mexico to pay for it has gained traction with many of his supporters around the U.S., although former Mexican President Vicente Fox said during an interview Thursday that he was “not going to pay for that f---ing wall. He [Trump] should pay for it .”
FMR PRES of Mexico, Vicente Fox horribly used the F word when discussing the wall. He must apologize! If I did that there would be a uproar!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) February 25, 2016
Trump’s rally comes ahead of one of the most crucial days in the presidential primary process: Super Tuesday. Winning Texas is the biggest prize on that day of 11 state primaries, with 155 Republican delegates up for grabs there, while Democratic candidates Sen. Bernie Sanders and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton are vying for their shares of 252 delegates.
In total, there are 595 Republican delegates up for grabs on Super Tuesday, amounting to about 25 percent of the entire GOP delegate count. To win the nomination, a candidate needs 1,237 delegates. Donald Trump currently has 82 delegates, while his nearest rivals Cruz and Florida Senator Rubio have 18 and 17, respectively. Remaining contenders Ben Carson and Ohio Gov. John Kasich have a handful each.