Clinton, Obama Face Texas-Sized Showdown

State relishing its big-time say in Democratic nomination battle.

ByABC News
March 1, 2008, 6:44 PM

March 1, 2008 — -- Texas is big -- big hats, big boots, big hair -- and it's presidential big, spawning native son LBJ and adopted son George W. Bush. And for the Democrats, Texas could be the Big Enchilada of primaries -- one that may determine the Democratic nominee, Texas style.

Texas is really a country unto itself -- sprawling in size, split along Democrat and Republican, urban and rural, and a very expensive state to run in.

"It's one of the most difficult states, I would think, for anybody to campaign in," said Kinky Friedman, a musician, author and former gubernatorial candidate, "and every journey of 1,000 miles begins with a cash advance."

The campaign here has become a bare-knuckled brawl –- with both candidates appealing to down-home instincts and Tex-Mex flavor.

At Billy Bob's honky tonk Friday night, a local named Ross told ABC News true Texans don't usually talk about politics out loud.

"Yankees do that," he said.

His wife, Vicky Glaze, said, "We're usually Republicans but we don't agree with the war."

They plan to vote for Barack Obama.

At another table, a group of die-hard Republicans said they weren't thrilled by their choices this year. Some plan to vote for Mike Huckabee, some for John McCain, some still aren't sure.

One man, a small employer, said his biggest issue is immigration.

"We can't find white guys to work," he complained.

Political views in Texas are as diverse as the state is large.

"We're so diversified, such a big state," said a man from Midland in western Texas.

But ask a bunch of bull riders hanging out at the live bull riding competition and they'll tell you that there's one universal truth for Texans.

"We'll take a lot and we'll give a lot [of bull] but we won't eat any of it," said Brian Schnautz, a bull rider. "There's nobody better than a Texan to stand around on a fence post and throw a little bull. But we like a little honesty."

And they are all pleased that Texas -- for once- - may matter in this presidential election.