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Not All Texas GOP Ready To Use Nuclear Option When It Comes To Trump Support

Joey Palacios
Texas Public Radio

Over the weekend a handful of elected-Texas Republicans announced they were no longer supporting Donald Trump as the GOP presidential candidate, some even asking that he step down.  But while others have scolded Trump for his “hot mic” comments about groping women, these same Texas elected officials have not denounced his candidacy.

Disappointing, demeaning, disturbing and disgusted, these are just some of the words used by leading Texas Republican officials to describe Donald Trump’s 2005 comments about groping women.  While there has been an outpouring of criticism, so far only Fort Worth Republican Congresswoman Kay Granger and Congressman Will Hurd, a Republican whose district includes San Antonio, have asked Trump to step down.    Former state party chairman and RNC consultant Steve Munisteri says he’s not surprised by the recent condemnation but says Trump still has overwhelming support from Texas voters. “Polls show that a majority of Republican voters would like the party to stand behind the nominee and so I do believe that is the majority opinion, now that doesn’t mean that people condone specific comments," Munisteri says. Mark Jones with Rice University’s Baker Institute of Public Policy says un-endorsing a presidential candidate is a nuclear option that isn’t that easy to walk back.  But he says for Republicans locked in a contentious down-ballot race, continuing to openly support Trump can also be a challenge, especially if his polling numbers continue to drop. “Most of the Republicans are going to be in a relative good position but it will vary depending on how close they align themselves with Trump," Jones explains. Jones says that even seems to be the case amid Republican fundraisers in Texas.  This week San Antonio builder Gene Powell, begrudgingly announced that he would still fulfill his obligation to hold a Trump fundraiser in San Antonio this Tuesday. 

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Ryan started his radio career in 2002 working for Austin’s News Radio KLBJ-AM as a show producer for the station's organic gardening shows. This slowly evolved into a role as the morning show producer and later as the group’s executive producer.