The Democratic Party is drooling over the prospect of turning the largest conservative state blue, drawing on the potential that Texas has the second-largest Hispanic population of any state. But ironically, a new Gallup poll found Hispanics in Texas may prevent that transformation, as they are more likely to identify with the Republican Party than they are nationwide. Gallup also found white voters in the state are decidedly more Republican than they are nationwide.
Hispanics in Texas still largely tilt Democratic by 46 to 27 percent, but the 19-percentage-point Democratic advantage is far smaller than the nationwide average of 30 points. With 61 percent of white voters in Texas identifying with the Republican Party, as opposed to 48 percent nationwide, the state is not likely to turn blue easy. Adding to the Democrats’ problems in the state, their white base is shrinking down to 26 percent as opposed to 38 percent nationwide, with political participation among Hispanics in Texas far lower than needed.
Hispanics in Texas are more likely to say they are not registered to vote than are registered, with just 43 percent saying they are. This compares to a whopping 82 percent of whites who vote in large majorities for Republican candidates and 77 percent of blacks who say they are registered, which vote in a near monolithic pattern for Democrats, though black voters in Texas are also slightly more Republican than they are nationwide. When we add up the support, Republicans already have a majority coalition even if just 8 percent of Hispanics in Texas vote Republican.
Of course, this is not to say that the future may be different, as we at PeoplesPunditDaily.com have investigated and documented the lengths the Democratic Party is willing to go to in order to turn Texas blue. However, Republican inroads have been made among Hispanics in Texas since the first election of Barack Obama in 2008, when just 23 percent identified as Republican. Meanwhile, from 2008 until now, Democrats have shed 7 percent who identify with their party in the state, while they lost just 4 percent nationwide. During the same period, Republicans added 4 points to their already-large majority support among white voters.
The data show that Hispanics, alone, simply may not be enough to turn Texas blue. In fact, if this trend continues as it has since 2008, then the Democratic Party may find that Hispanics in Texas are a hinderance rather than an advantage, as more move toward the right and continue to break Democratic ties, which we see is occurring. Whether or not that pattern persists, remains to be seen.
It would appear, for now, Battleground Texas will need to register massive amounts of Hispanics in Texas that currently do not participate in the political process, though who knows if they will even want to.