John Berman introduced Joe Biden's new ad that's airing in Texas, and explained why it's significant.
"CNN's Arlette Saenz joins us now with more. This is a real digital buy, Arlette, and it includes the state of Texas," Berman said.
"That's right, john. Joe Biden is wading into Texas with his first general election TV ad of this campaign, a spot that will focus on the coronavirus pandemic as that state has seen an uptick in covid-19 cases in recent weeks," she said.
"Now, I'm told this is part of a mid-six-figure buy in television and digital. and while the ad makes no direct mention of President Trump by name, Biden's advisers believe that the tone and message of this ad will present a stark contrast with the president's handling of the coronavirus pandemic. Now, here is the very first look of this new ad set to run in the Lonestar state."
Not only that, Saenz said, Biden's campaign will be running similar ads in Arizona, North Carolina, and Florida. (I can see we're going to have to step up our contributions to help.)
So it's shocking good news that Biden is doing so well in Texas, considering Trump won by nine points in 2016.
CNN political director David Chalian weighed in.
"When you look at the overlay of the states, especially Republican-leaning states, states that we normally see red on election night on the map that are now moving into that real battleground category -- certainly, Florida's been a battleground for years -- but Arizona and Texas and North Carolina -- states with uptick in coronavirus cases but also very important to the electoral map, certainly critical to Donald Trump's path to re-election.
"I don't know, John, if you can somehow in your mind game out how Donald Trump wins the White House without a Florida or Texas -- and Texas -- in his column. I can't figure a path for him back to re-election."
"No, he can't do it. That's interesting, by the way," Berman said. "Joe biden needs none of those -- needs none of those states you just mentioned. Donald Trump needs, in all likelihood, every single one of them."
UPDATE: Over at MSNBC, Steve Kornacki noted the same phenomenon. Biden is pulling the Texas electorate about 10 points from where they were in 2016.