Watching Texas turn blue has been like watching the melting of the ice in Greenland, it’s happening, it’s just happening so slowly that it feels like it’s not, but global sea level is rising and Texas will… turn… blue. Sooner or later this boy who cried wolf will be able to point to a Democratic win in TX and shut up the nonbelievers (as if demographics was something you can choose to not believe).
George Will took notice because a very republican former GOP chairman in TX is alarmed, so George is also alarmed. Because very simply, Texas is the only mega state safely in the red column. As it is they’ve lost 5 of the last 6 elections in the popular vote and 4 of the last 6 in the electoral college. Texas doesn’t even have to go solidly blue to mortally wound the GOP as a national party. Even if it’s just purple and up for grabs, forcing the GOP to spend money there and compete for its 38 (and rising) electoral votes, it changes the already tilted map so that the Dems could recreate the dynasty they had between 1932 and 1968, winning 7 of 9 elections.
State wide, Republicans haven’t lost since 1994, but their margin of victory has been shrinking and everybody recognizes that the fast growing Hispanic portion of the population could turn everything on its head today, if they just voted.
Texas is not wide-open spaces filled with cattle and cotton fields. Actually, it is 84.7 percent urban, making it the 15th-most urban state. It has four of the nation’s eleven largest cities — Houston, San Antonio, Dallas, and Austin. Texas’s growth is in its cities, where Republicans are doing worst.
Between urban college educated young people, the Hispanics and the Asians, Democratic groups are growing as Republican cohorts are dying off.
Republicans risk protracted losing in a center-left country, which America now is, and in a purple Texas, which soon could be.
Will admits what a lot of Morning Joe Democrats will not – that this is a center-left country based on what people believe about social issues and the place of government in people’s lives. For better or worse though, a lot of those center-left people are not one issue voters. Often they’re not voters at all. So the parties and pundits treat America like a center-right nation because of the vehemency of angry white people, the NRA and evangelicals who do vote and will do so on single issues pushing a very clear agenda.
A motivated, engaged and registered Latino electorate in Texas could make 2016 competitive – but nobody is holding their breath. By 2020 Texas will be in play and the GOP, if it still exists at all as a national party, will be even further behind the race even before it starts.