At long, long last we have come to the end of this campaign season and it was a solid victory for the president. I've seen a party, and a candidate, use lies and reprehensible tactics to try to win for the sake of an economic policy that should be consigned to the 19th Century from hence it came. Maybe it is the vision thing, but if hindsight is twenty-twenty, why are Republicans so blind to the lessons of old?
The many tomorrows are coming. The Southern strategy of Nixon is almost spent, if not dead based on the demographics from the election. The biggest change that needs to happen is a simple one and yet will be a challenge; Texas needs to be taken away as a crutch for the GOP. You want them to move to the middle? You want them to be a party that must act responsibly? Imagine a 2016 or a 2020 where they must HOLD Texas. One with a vast plurality of Latino voters who are sick of the GOP attacks for having brown skin.
Everything in a national election for the GOP depends on Texas holding the keystone. But imagine if instead of the 191 Electoral votes that the GOP tends to have at its base it only had 142 (removing Arizona and Texas) would they change or would they be the Whigs? Starting from such a small, limited base would mean extinction or change.
Below are the numbers for Texas turnout. The GOP was up less than 100k votes over 2008, but the Dems were down 239k votes. Dallas County (Dallas ), Bexar County (San Antonio), Travis County (Austin) all went for the president again. Harris County (Houston) went for the president by 585 votes. Over 700,000 registered voters did not vote in Harris County. If Texas is to move towards purple status then getting people to vote who support Democratic policies is essential.
That is a challenge of today and the many tomorrows. Others exist as well, from money in politics, to voter suppression tactics, to continued voter engagement. That is the key for the coming term, to remain engaged so that we get the government we want. Obamacare will be enacted. Education funding and student loan reforms will stand. We need to actually talk about climate change. Ask a Texan about the 2011 drought, ask about the trees...
The many tomorrows that have been discussed about the changing nature of our country are here. How we look in 2020 will seem very different than we did in 2000. A single generation can be transformative. A vote counts, 2000 should have taught everyone that - so should have 2010. So now must work our todays to mold the tomorrows so that inclusion is the norm and the old style politics that Nixon used with the Southern Strategy may never rise again. Texas needs to be ground zero for that fight.
Texas totals for 2012:
Mitt Romney/ Paul Ryan 4,555,799 57.20%2008
Barack Obama/ Joe Biden - 3,294,440 41.36%
Gary Johnson/ Jim Gray 88,110 1.10%
Jill Stein/ Cheri Honkala 24,450 0.30%
Avery Ayers/ Alejandrina Cabrera 324 0.00%
Stewart Alexander/ Alex Mendoza W-I 87 0.00%
Thaddaus Hill/ Gordon F. Bailey W-I 65 0.00%
Virgil Goode/ Jim Clymer W-I 804 0.01%
Tom Hoefling/ Jonathan D. Ellis W-I 173 0.00%
Andre N. Barnett/ Kenneth R. Cross W-I 42 0.00%
Rocky Anderson/ Luis J. Rodriguez W-I 273 0.00%
Race Total 5,020,901 7,964,567
Early Provisional Ballots Reported 8,874
Total Provisional Ballots Reported 37,549
Precincts Reported 9,150 of 9,150 Precincts 100.00%
Statewide Turnout 58.36% 13,646,226 Registered Voters
RACE NAME PARTY CANVASS VOTES PERCENTThese are from the Texas Secretary of State's Office.
John McCain/ Sarah Palin REP 4,479,328 55.45%
Barack Obama/ Joe Biden DEM 3,528,633 43.68%
Bob Barr/ Wayne A. Root LIB 56,116 0.69%
Chuck Baldwin/ Darrell L. Castle W-I 5,708 0.07%
Thaddaus Hill/ Gordon F. Bailey W-I 216 0.00%
Jonathan Allen/ Jeffrey D. Stath W-I 104 0.00%
Alan Keyes/ Marvin Sprouse, Jr. W-I 895 0.01%
Ralph Nader/ Matt Gonzalez W-I 5,751 0.07%
Cynthia McKinney/ Rosa Clemente W-I 909 0.01%
Brian Moore/ Stewart A. Alexander W-I 135 0.00%
Race Total 8,077,795