Despite the formidable odds, third-party candidates could win some offices in November, Green party presidential nominee Jill Stein told supporters at an event Monday night at Huston Tillotson's King-Seabrook Chapel in Austin.
Criticizing Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton and Republican nominee Donald Trump — including referring to Trump as a “sexual and economic predator” — Stein said she won't sleep if either candidate is elected in November. To a boisterous crowd of several hundred, Stein said that her supporters must “be that demand” to see a change in public office.
“It’s important to know that we do have the numbers,” Stein said Monday night. “We have all the people we need to create this peaceful revolution at the ballot box. ... Texas is a state of courage. Together, we can create an America that works for all of us. It’s time to fight for the greater good.”
The latest NBC/WSJ Poll shows Clinton beating Trump among likely voters 48 to 37 percent nationally. It shows Libertarian candidate Gary Johnson with 7 percent of the vote and Stein at 2 percent.
In Texas, a recent poll showed Clinton within the margin of error of Trump among likely voters. According to a WFAA/SurveyUSA Poll, Trump only leads Clinton by 47 to 43 percent in the state, his smallest lead in yet. Adrian Boutureira, Stein’s national field director, said the shift among likely Texas voters is a big reason his party’s candidate visited the state with just three weeks left until the general election.
“In a way, for us, every hour now counts,” Boutureira said in an interview. “Texas is hugely important for us. We don’t particularly buy the paradigm that somehow Texas is ultra reactionary and will never, ever go progressive — some of our own membership here proves differently.”
During her speech Monday night, Stein touched on immigration issues — particularly Trump's famous promise to build a wall on the southern border — saying that immigrants crossing the Mexican border have contributed greatly to the economic development of the country.
“It’s time to create a welcome path to citizenship that welcomes the citizens that have always been in the heart of our community,” Stein said. “It’s time to recognize the most important thing we can do to stop the immigration crisis is to stop causing it in the first place. Donald Trump, we don’t need your wall.”
Prior to addressing the crowd, Stein was joined by Green Party candidates in local, statewide and federal elections.
“We’re tired of our two-party system. We’re tired of the ways politicians treat us,” said Ashely “Flashe” Gordon, who’s running for Travis County Commissioner Precinct 1.
Stein's platform is centered on a $15-per-hour federal minimum wage, a single-payer public health program to provide universal health care, free higher education and equal pay. During her four-day trip through the state, she visited El Paso, Houston and San Antonio prior to arriving in Austin.