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Could Texan Demographics Doom The GOP?

Could Texan Demographics Doom The GOP?

Back in the 2002 and 2004 elections, Karl Rove boasted he wanted a “permanent Republican majority.” In 2010, after they swept the House, the GOP caught Rove fever again.

But now an analysis of the last huge state which has, since the 1960s, consistently delivered the GOP a big chunk of the electoral college shows that it is a matter of when, not if, it will turn blue — and that could block the GOP from the White House unless it makes radical policy shifts.

That state is Texas. And the reason is Hispanic voters.

Kos points out that in the entire state, 43.1 percent of public schoolchildren were Anglo in 2000, compared to just 30.5 percent now. In many school districts, the vast majority of school kids are non-white.

Dr. Stephen Klinberg of the Rice University Kinder Institute has been conducting the Houston Area Survey for 30 years. In that period of time, the demographic changes of Houston have been dramatic.

Consider that in 1960, Harris County (Houston sits in Harris County) was 73.9% Anglo and the population was a little over 1.2 million. By 1980, the population was 2.4 million and Anglos comprised 69.2% of the County. 2000 — 3.4 million and Anglo population was now 42.5%. As of the 2010 Census, Harris County is a little over 4 million people and Anglos are only 33% of the population.

As one Texas demographer noted: “Itís basically over for Anglos.”

There will have to be a sea of change in Hispanic opinion of the GOP if that demographic change is not going to turn Texas blue — Romney is currently winning somewhere between 14% and 27% of those voters in national polls.

Texas is already light blue on electoral maps; Romney is only ahead 50-43 at the moment.

In fact, it would be even tighter if there were not 2.7 million Hispanics who are currently unregistered. And, as Kos points out, if the Texas Democrats did not have such an “abysmal record turning out their [Hispanic] constituents.”

In 2008, just 38 percent of Texas Hispanics cast a ballot, compared to 57 percent in California. In 2010, less than a quarter of Texas Hispanics turned out.

And once Texas goes blue, what possible route to the White House is there for a Republican unless the party changes tack on issues which are currently repelling this key voting block?

Glenn Greenwald argues in the New York Times that what you heard on the primary trail will be the last gasp of a particular sort of GOP:

When a political party begins to fail competitively, as the G.O.P. is clearly doing now, it, too, simply rebrands itself. Recall that in 2008, the G.O.P. was assumed by pundits to be dead for a generation because of the profound, historic unpopularity of George W. Bush and Dick Cheney. But the G.O.P. simply re-invented itself with a new brand identity (the Tea Party) and swamped the Democrats a mere two years later. If the G.O.P. is weighed down by obsolete or unpopular associations ó anti-immigrant or anti-gay animosity ó it will simply jettison those planks or change their image, just as Democrats did under Bill “New Democrat” Clinton to escape the stigma of Jimmy Carter, Walter Mondale and Michael Dukakis.

But will they? Really? What do you think?

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Photo credit: Pablo Manriquez

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38 comments

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11:21AM PDT on May 18, 2012

Bush and Obama made loans to the failing "too big to fail' companies. They have paid it back or are in the process of paying it back. No Bank should be allowed to become "too big to fail". Its extremely unhealthy for our country.

7:48PM PDT on May 17, 2012

Continued: Obama did his best to socialize the US until the country got a chance to say enough, unfortunately they were way to late, the money was burned and our kids are left the pay. He was partially successful in nationalizing the banks, Auto industry, Insurance industry, student loans, the energy industry, the health industry, etc. Now the presents a budget that looses 99 to 0, This man has been a disaster for this country.
Yvonne: You ask about the deer? The deer is one of my pet Axis Deer, imported to Texas from India in the 40’s. She is 5 years old and had her 5th fawn last Thursday. I feed 80 to 150 wild, free ranging Axis every day. They became endangered in India, They are so populated here some of the ranchers are shipping them back to repopulate their native habitat. A lot of the game ranches here raise and breed various African animals that are now extinct in Africa. I don’t allow hunting here but I do put the cripples in the freezer, about 4 -6 a year.
Coal is here to stay; we have a supply that dwarfs the middle east oil reserves. With over 50% on our electricity from coal, we cannot shut it off without devastating this country even more then Obama has.

7:33PM PDT on May 17, 2012

Robert: Your right about oil being a world market price, with all of the emerging countries that are allowing more and more capitalism, the demand for oil will continue to expand. I wish the masses over there the best, oil will improve the quality of their life. The problem with your dismissing the Transcanada pipe line is that shipping the oil to the US for refining is jobs, profit and taxes that we keep in the US. We have imported about 58% of our oil for some time, sending mind boggling wealth to countries that hate us. The US energy policy should be directed at keeping the wealth we earn within our borders. Exchanging refined products such as Plastics, chemicals, lubricants etc. with the oil from Canada is wealth for everyone in this hemisphere, including the poorest. Any time a non-OPEC country produces oil, even in small amounts it increases the pressure on the OPEC Monopoly preventing them from dictating how much we pay.

The only laws Obama can pass, will only prevent US companies from drilling in US territorial waters. We cannot stop others from drilling wherever they want. Even horizontal drilling under our waters. The Obama restrictions and taxes weaken and prevent the US companies from competing with the likes of CNOOC (china). Norway is a tiny very rich country that relies on off shore drilling to export more oil then anyone except Saudi Arabia. We can do nothing to prevent them from drilling anywhere and all they want.

Obama did his best to soc

3:02PM PDT on May 17, 2012

grounds for hope as long as TX doesn't play games with eligible voters who are not non-Hispanic whites...

1:40PM PDT on May 17, 2012

Pls, pls, pls, tell me it's true.

1:40PM PDT on May 17, 2012

Pls, pls, pls, tell me it's true.

9:19AM PDT on May 17, 2012

Let's all remember that whites are immigrants also.

8:47AM PDT on May 17, 2012

Have you seem what drilling on the golf has done David. Just because BC outs out cite adds about how great it is doesn't mean it IS good. Drilling into the ocean floors is very dangerous. It not only weakens the area where the well is it changes the pressure along a large part of the Gulf floor, which makes even MORE leaks. Have you seen what the leakage is doing to the sea life, the birds???

Global socialism???? ROTFLMAO. You are talking about a man who can't get the American congress to work with him and yet you think he is powerful enough to create GLO BAL socialism. You are one sick puppy David. The Transcanada pipeline would benefit no one in this country except the oil industry. ALL oil gets sold on the world market. There is no such thing as domestic oil anymore. I am a catholic and I don't feel the least bit threatened by Obama and, I am also a Texan David. What exactly does Texas wont forget, mean?

8:44AM PDT on May 17, 2012

Have you seem what drilling on the golf has done David. Just because BC outs out cite adds about how great it is doesn't mean it IS good. Drilling into the ocean floors is very dangerous. It not only weakens the area where the well is it changes the pressure along a large part of the Gulf floor, which makes even MORE leaks. Have you seen what the leakage is doing to the sea life, the birds???

Global socialism???? ROTFLMAO. You are talking about a man who can't get the American congress to work with him and yet you think he is powerful enough to create GLO BAL socialism. You are one sick puppy David. The Transcanada pipeline would benefit no one in this country except the oil industry. ALL oil gets sold on the world market. There is no such thing as domestic oil anymore. I am a catholic and I don't feel the least bit threatened by Obama and, I am also a Texan David. What exactly does Texas wont forget, mean?

12:25AM PDT on May 17, 2012

oops! computer stutter!

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