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View Diary: AFL-CIO may target Texas in 2014 elections (30 comments)

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  •  How long have Democrats been hoping for (0+ / 0-)

    a purple Texas, and claiming that each new election cycle brings it one cycle closer?

    Since 1994, I believe. And yet the GOP victory margins only grow ever more garish. From the near-miss in 1992 (when Bill Clinton came within a few percent of picking up the Lone Star State), here's the margins:

    1992: 40R, 37D
    1996: 49R, 44D
    2000: 59R, 38D
    2004: 61R, 38D
    2008: 55R, 44D
    2012: 57R, 41D

    Now, to be sure, if Texas Latinos voted at rates comparable to Texas whites, or if Texas Latinos voted Democrat at rates comparable to Latinos elsewhere, or if Texas whites voted Democrat at rates comparable to whites elsewhere...

    ....then Texas might be a purple State. But none of those is the case - Texas Latino turnout is anemic (38% turnout, compared to 50% nationally) even by the standards of Latino turnout (which is already lower than white turnout nationwide anyway - 50% vs 66%), Texas Latinos voted Democratic at about a 60/40 rate last year (compared to 70/30 nationally), and Texas whites are Southern (75% Republican) whites.

    The demographic trendlines are against the GOP in Texas as elsewhere, true - older white voters are dying off, and most young voters are nonwhite (and even the young white voters support the GOP at lower rates than their parents). What's more, the Republicans are tapped out for white votes - the white vote has the highest turnout rate and whites are already voting about 90% GOP there, which the best they can practically hope for. But this will make Texas 2024 at the earliest, not 2014.

    If you think that the Democrats can win Texas anytime this decade, good luck. You may even be right, although I doubt it. But a few visits from Trumka won't turn Texas purple, as much as I admire him. What will - a ground game and candidate bench built up over multiple electoral cycles - isn't being supported by the Democratic hierarchy, who seem to think that they've got better things to do than win Congressional seats and make Democratic Presidents a foregone conclusion.

    For Democrats, Texas is a cruel mirage: a vision that promises ease and abundance, yet turns into desert sand every election. Georgia will turn purple before Texas does. If Trumka wants the maximum political impact, and to generate as many IOUs from the Democratic hierarchy (not that they ever honor their IOUs with progressives or Main Street) then he should look there.

    "Violence never requires translation, but it often causes deafness." - Bareesh the Hutt.

    by Australian2 on Sat Aug 31, 2013 at 11:20:25 AM PDT

    •  I don't think it is that simple. (0+ / 0-)

      1992: Ross Perot pulled even Dems away from Clinton and that is the low water mark at 38% of the vote going D.

      1996: I don't think that Clinton was disliked in Texas that much, at least until Lewinsky.

      2000 and 2004, you had a Texan running for the Republicans, and one that was not disliked by Hispanics.

      2008 was a sign of what could happen, if we organize in Texas. 11% gap.

      2012, might feel like a step back, but realize that no money is being spent to get out the vote for Obama in Texas. Plus, it is pretty obvious for the ones that do live in Texas, that there is a lot of hatred for the man.

      You might be right in your prediction, that no Democrat will win this decade, but I know of few people making that forecast. However, 2008 showed that 44% of Texans can and did vote for a black Democrat presidential candidate.

      Imagine if we have a non-black Democrat candidate that is not running against a Texan, then along with the continued  growth of minority populations and a stronger ground game there is no reason we cannot thin the margin well into the low single digits over the next two election cycles.

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