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Changing demographics will make Texas purple, even blue, sooner or later, and the AFL-CIO is hoping to make it sooner. The labor federation is looking at Texas as part of its 2014 effort, Richard Trumka says:
“It’s a majority minority state, and right now the minorities are denied the voice they should be entitled to,” he told reporters at a Christian Science Monitor roundtable Thursday morning. [...]

Laying out plans for 2014, he said AFL-CIO would focus on taking on states where the immigration battle was most at play, and in doing so, branch into some new territory.

“We’ll be involved at the state level, county level and district level, playing in some states where we haven’t in the past,” Trumka said.

As Markos has written:
Let's be clear about this: If Latinos voted at the same rates as whites, Texas would already be Purple. And all other things remaining equal, it would've provided Mitt Romney with his second closest victory margin last year. Except that all things wouldn't have been equal—a five-point race would've meant lots of money. Democrats would've poured resources into the state, while Republicans would've been forced to divert their cash to playing defense. [...]

So the math is clear—Texas would be purple of Latinos voted. But they don't, so who cares, right? Well, Republicans should, because even with the same existing shitty turnout rate the growth in the Latino and Asian communities will erode the GOP's base by about 5 1/2 points every four years, or about 1.4 points per year.

What if union efforts could increase Latino turnout? Or persuade even a fractional percentage of white voters away from Republicans? The tipping point that's coming to Texas because of demographics could move a cycle closer.

Originally posted to Daily Kos Labor on Thu Aug 29, 2013 at 11:23 AM PDT.

Also republished by Daily Kos.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Be still my heart!!! (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    suesue, Sylv, Puddytat, txcatlin

    The worship of guns requires human sacrifices evidently. ~richardak

    by denig on Thu Aug 29, 2013 at 11:58:35 AM PDT

  •  Battleground Texas (7+ / 0-)

    is working everyday to register Texas voters. Over 3,000 deputy voter registrars have been certified through BGT efforts. A BGT group will be working the AFL-CIO picnic here tomorrow. I am so optimistic we can turn this state blue. #GameOn

  •  Not "may" - *will* (6+ / 0-)
    Just ahead of Labor Day, the president of the AFL-CIO, a coalition of 57 labor unions, said Thursday that it will target Texas “like never before” in the coming elections. It also will seek to boost union ranks in the famously pro-employer Lone Star State.

    Richard Trumka told reporters at a breakfast sponsored by the Christian Science Monitor that immigration and worker safety are key issues that make Texas an important battleground for progressive groups like his.

    “Texas is a so-called red state, but you’ve got 10 million Democrats here in Texas. And …, there are a whole lot of people here in Texas who need us, and who need us to fight for them.” President Obama

    by Catte Nappe on Thu Aug 29, 2013 at 12:10:26 PM PDT

  •  YES! I'll take a Purple Texas with extra hot sauce (5+ / 0-)

    Is there a drink called Purple Texas? Hell, maybe Blue Texas, pardner?

    And God said, "Let there be light"; and with a Big Bang, there was light. And God said "Ow! Ow My eyes!" and in a flash God separated light from darkness. "Whew! Now that's better. Now where was I. Oh yea . . ."

    by Pale Jenova on Fri Aug 30, 2013 at 05:33:51 PM PDT

  •  I Hope They Do Put Some Resource into Latino (5+ / 0-)

    outreach there.

    We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for victims of our nation and for those it calls enemy.... --ML King "Beyond Vietnam"

    by Gooserock on Fri Aug 30, 2013 at 05:39:24 PM PDT

  •  It's a great idea but I think people are getting (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    RoIn, Stude Dude

    a bit of ahead of themselves here. Texas is really a medium-to-long term project. I'm all about investing the money necessary to capitalize on the changing demographics in Texas, but there are probably better places in which to invest short-term, strategic resources.

    Why not Arizona, Colorado, Nevada, Georgia, etc? Why not other places with changing demographics? Not every electoral cycle is going to be determined by the baseline presidential vote. I don't want to turn the whole "Battleground Texas" strategy into the bizarro version of the classic "Spend all your money in Ohio and Florida" canard.

    •  No getting ahead of ourselves here. (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Stude Dude, Gygaxian, grich01, nomandates

      I, for one, am happy to see that the Dems and Labor are not conceding Texas in 2014. That alone should scare the hell outta the GOP. No one is saying that we drop the ball on other states while trying to win Texas.

      I love this quote from Trumka.

      Laying out plans for 2014, he said AFL-CIO would focus on taking on states where the immigration battle was most at play, and in doing so, branch into some new territory.
      2014/2016 - to paraphrase:  It's the Immigration, Stupid.

      "He's the President of the United States. He is not the Asshole Whisperer." - MinistryOfTruth

      by dannyinla on Fri Aug 30, 2013 at 06:12:41 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  We're not getting ahead of ourselves. (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      nomandates, dannyinla

      As the Democratic party grows we've got to be willing to put more money in newer states. The Dem party has been dormant in Texas for a couple decades now and what Wendy Davis did this summer was wake the party up.

      We need to give those Dems an outlet to put their energy to good use. Texas CAN go blue in 2014 (at least for the governor's seat and a few smaller offices) and purple in many other places not thought of before. We just have to give it a shot.

      Filibuster? I hardly know her!

      by grich01 on Sat Aug 31, 2013 at 01:54:48 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Speaking as a very liberal Texan... (11+ / 0-)

    I would like to note that though it seems to be one of the favorite activities of some in the liberal community outside Texas, the volume of unnecessary Texas bashing isn't helping. Seriously, I hear this complaint all the time. One reason Texans don't think they're liberal, though they support liberal ideas, is because Republicans aren't calling them names and suggesting they secede every time some loud mouthed jerk who lives here sounds off. Republicans are vile and despicable but they have the art of bullshit down. They make their listeners feel included by cajoling them to "take back" the country from the (liberal euphemism du jour). Too many liberals, on the other hand, make absurd blanket condemnations of all things Texas. I wince every time I see Gohmert or Perry's name because I know they've done something stupid and invited another salvo of invitations to secede, pleas for Mexico to reclaim the territory and aspersions cast upon on our collective intelligence. It's not helping, folks. Please consider that the next time Abbott opens his pie hole.

    "Given the choice between a Republican and someone who acts like a Republican, people will vote for a real Republican every time." Harry Truman

    by MargaretPOA on Fri Aug 30, 2013 at 05:58:24 PM PDT

    •  Preach it (4+ / 0-)

      Disclaimer: If the above comment can possibly be construed as snark, it probably is.

      by grubber on Fri Aug 30, 2013 at 06:20:54 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  thank you (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      A day hardly goes by on the Kos here where I don't see "Tex-ass" defamed.
      There used to a a "Partei de Communista Norteno" along the northern Mexican states, now that would be something to show them progressives who frequently give Texans a blanket condemnation on account a Gohmert and Perry.
      Hmmph, I say.

      I buy and sell well trained riding mules and American Mammoth Jack Stock.

      by old mule on Fri Aug 30, 2013 at 07:07:22 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Agreeing as a very liberal Utahn (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      MargaretPOA, dannyinla

      Similar name-calling and "hurr cultist-controlled state" crap is absurd and hampers liberal ideas spreading into Utah.

      We red staters: Texans, Utahns, Arizonans, and so forth, really don't like when our neighbors and friends are put under a blanket condemnation. It's aggravating and hurtful to our cause.

      Leftist Mormon in Utah, Born in Washington State, live in UT-04 (Matheson).

      by Gygaxian on Fri Aug 30, 2013 at 11:40:28 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Absolutely (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        Regional bigotry is still bigotry. And the idea that liberal Texans ought to just up and leave is even more absurd. The entire New England and midwestern area could not absorb the number of liberal Texans alone, let alone liberals from Utah, Arizona, Georgia, etc.

        "Given the choice between a Republican and someone who acts like a Republican, people will vote for a real Republican every time." Harry Truman

        by MargaretPOA on Sat Aug 31, 2013 at 06:26:25 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  What you said. . . (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      and exactly the point I raised in my rant yesterday when Missouri was (deservedly) taken to the DK woodshed for the latest vile actions of our Republican legislature. Stop dumping on red states, which are home to many progressives.

  •  2014 (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Stude Dude, Gygaxian

    I'm not sure 2014 is going to be the best year to go on offense when we are going to be playing so much defense (the Senate) but the idea is tantalizing.  If Republicans ever have to even start competing in Texas they're done.

    “I believe all Southern liberals come from the same starting point--race. Once you figure out they are lying to you about race, you start to question everything.” ― Molly Ivins

    by RoIn on Fri Aug 30, 2013 at 05:59:04 PM PDT

  •  La Familia - (8+ / 0-)

    The best way to reach Latinos (and I say this as a Texan) is  going to be through families. We should combine the GOTV effort with an information push on family clinics, CHiP, and Medicare/Medicaid. With the war on women here in Texas, things will be very difficult for the next two-three years.

    The GOTV effort would go even better if we could concentrate on family representatives - one member of each local family that would take responsibility for encouraging their family to register to vote, make sure they get registered, and help the older relatives who aren't as able.

    The reason that the AFL-CIO does so well with Hispanics is that many breadwinners support their entire family with a job in manufacturing.  Salary, health benefits, life insurance, and more are available with a strong functioning union.

    Lockheed is beating their workers up to meet the demands of their contract. This means shoddy work conditions, understaffing, and undertraining. The union just got beat down in an effort to save money, but it's pretty obvious that the problem isn't the union - it's this F35 albatross.

    I see you drivin' 'round town with the girl I love / And I'm like / Please proceed, Governor. - Dave Itzkoff

    by Jensequitur on Fri Aug 30, 2013 at 05:59:39 PM PDT

  •  Speaking of Texas, let's not forget Molly (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    elginblt, nomandates

    Molly Ivins would have been 69 today. Happy Birthday, Molly!
    "So keep fightin' for freedom and justice, beloveds, but don't you forget to have fun doin' it. Lord, let your laughter ring forth. Be outrageous, ridicule the fraidy-cats, rejoice in all the oddities that freedom can produce. And when you get through kickin' ass and celebratin' the sheer joy of a good fight, be sure to tell those who come after how much fun it was." ~ Mother Jones, 1993

  •  I don't know, sitting with my cowboy friends here (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    elginblt, Gygaxian, nomandates, zootwoman

    and told them about a machine shop job I had up north. Machinists and Aerospace Workers local. One said "Yeah they bleed your pay check, every week" and another actually brought up union corruption in the Hoffa days like it was today's head line.
    I am afraid that there ain't much hope. If Texas had ONCE been a union state there might be some generational memory like in Gary or Akron, but it never was. The most sleazy and vicious lying propaganda has had generations to set in here.
    The common man hereabouts has a great dislike for the very concept of unionization.
    Our town voted 51-49 for Obama, and there are no jobs here except hotel service tourism type ones, and cow boying.
    Hope the big cities of Texas where there are still some aerospace jobs can be a fertile ground for the AFL-CIO but don't count on the rural parts.

    I buy and sell well trained riding mules and American Mammoth Jack Stock.

    by old mule on Fri Aug 30, 2013 at 07:00:52 PM PDT

    •  I have never seen so much (0+ / 0-)

      anti minimum wage bullshit/rage coming from the very people who need it as on my facebook. I am gobsmacked.
      How is it that people who can't afford to go to the doctor and live in under insulated shacks trash talk the very folk and ideas that would lift them out their squalor. I once had a conversation with a hispanic coupe about how Obama was causing them to lose all their freedoms, then it came out that he was  UPS union worker and had just bought his wife a new car on account of his union wages and she had just quit her job at the school district because she believed some kind of lie about how she wasn't going to get her pension because her husband made too much money. This area is drowning in stupid. Where are the life jackets?

      •  right- (0+ / 0-)

        last spring a co-worker here, 79842, told me "I'm really worried, if I don't get on that new Obamacare, they are going to fine me $1000 for my wife and each, three, kids. That's more than I pay for insurance now!"
        He was sincerely worried.
        "Where'd you hear that?"
        "On TV"

        I buy and sell well trained riding mules and American Mammoth Jack Stock.

        by old mule on Sat Aug 31, 2013 at 11:17:01 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Nice to hear (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    deepeco, grich01

    I would hope they focus on registering new voters and getting them to vote Democratic. This would be a much better investment than putting money towards actual campaigns.

    As far as the latter, they need to really just pick and choose a few GOP districts that they might be able to flip, or force the GOP to spend lots to defend.

    Right now, the Texas delegation is 24-12 GOP.  If they can make it just 21-15 next year, that would be a huge achievement...and maybe elect a Dem governor along the way.

  •  What we need is a sustained voter registration (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    effort for 3 consecutive election cycles. Hitting churches, day labor, childcare, health clinics, etc on Texas' low turnout "brown belt", do this for a number of years and Texas will be purple.  

    -1.63/ -1.49 "Speaking truth to power" (with snark of course)!

    by dopper0189 on Sat Aug 31, 2013 at 03:05:01 AM PDT

  •  one nit to pick with this article... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Gygaxian would be great for the AFL-CIO to help kick-start a moribund Democratic Party in Texas. However...the first sentence of this article may not be completely accurate.

    To start this article with the delcarative statement that changing demographics will, without any doubt whatsoever, turn Texas purple or blue sometime in the quite an assumption. Perhaps changing demographics are likely to do so, but to state that as a fact is a little presumptuous, in my opinion.

    This comes from someone who lived in Texas in the early 1980's, when everyone was saying the exact same thing then as they are now...that changing demographics were in the Democrats favor. That was more than 30 years ago, and since then, Democrats have been decimated there and Republicans have use all the power and mechanisms at their disposal to marginalize the Democrats in that state to the point of irrelevancy. is possible that changing demographics might eventually turn the state purple or blue. However...with the power Republicans currently have in that state to continue to manipulate things in their favor, it seems highly unlikely to me that they have any intention of just rolling over any time soon or any time in the future.

    To make a blanket assumption like that is to underestimate a lot of factors, not the least of which is the continuing and growing influence of the evangelical right in that state, not to mention the various ways that Republicans have and will continue to try to minimize the affect of those changing demographics.

    Having said's about time that Democratic Party allies finally started to begin seriously contesting elections in that state.

  •  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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