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First Lady to Travel through Texas with President Kennedy

Nov. 17, 1963 - Accompanied by the First Lady, President Kennedy will journey to Texas on Thursday and Friday for political appearances in Dallas, Fort Worth, Houston, San Antonio, and Austin. Mr. Kennedy’s campaign architects concede the state could prove troublesome to Democrats next year. They see greater opportunity of holding Texas, however, than of recapturing Florida. Mrs. Kennedy’s decision to make the Texas trip is a clear barometer of the importance the President and his advisers attach to the 25 electoral votes of the Lone Star State. The First Lady has neither traveled west of the Atlantic seaboard nor exposed herself to political audiences outside the nation’s capital since prior to the Los Angeles Democratic convention of 1960. The Texas trip will give Western voters their first look at Mrs. Kennedy in person and may determine how important a factor she can be in next year’s campaign. The strategic political importance of both Texas and Florida is shown by the fact that population increases have boosted their electoral count since 1960. Florida now has 14 rather than 10 electoral votes, and Texas 25 rather than 24. It is anticipated that after President Kennedy is renominated in Atlantic City, N.J. next August, Mrs. Kennedy will make a series of campaign appearances at his side. Throughout the Texas journey, the Kennedys will be accompanied by Vice President and Mrs. Lyndon B. Johnson. The President and First Lady will wind up the trip by spending the weekend at the Johnsons’ LBJ Ranch.

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