Hispanic Growth Not Turning Texas Blue as Expected
HOUSTON, Texas—The enormous growth of the Hispanic population does not seem to be turning Texas blue as fast as many political pundits expected. Recent data from the U.S. Census Bureau revealed a decreasing non-Hispanic white population and a rapidly growing Hispanic population. The growth of the Hispanic population over the past fourteen years was expected to make a huge difference in Texas’ Republican vs. Democrat voting patterns. It appears it has not.
A report in the Washington Post indicates this may not be the case. The article by Philip Bump, contains a series of interactive demographic maps that illustrate several different views of Hispanic population density and Republican/Democrat voting history. The report indicates more whites died than were born last year. On the other hand, both the Hispanic and Asian communities grew in population percentage.
“The popular thinking is that the change in the American population portends bad news for a Republican Party that's still heavily dependent on support from those older, whiter voters,” Bump states. “Our thinking: What better place to track how that evolution might occur than Texas.”
The report compares the 2000 and 2012 presidential election results and compares them to Hispanic population density in Texas. It concludes that while there was a close link between the density of a county’s Hispanic population and its support for Democrat candidates, the voting pattern for that county did not change as the county became less white and more Hispanic.
“This backs up two key points I have been making these last few years,” said Steve Munisteri, Chairman of the Republican Party of Texas in an interview with Breitbart Texas. “First, the state got more competitive than people realize in 2008 (this article shows a 5% increase for Democrats between 2004 and 2008), but since I have been Chair we reversed this trend in 2010 and added to our gains in 2012.”
“This article notes a 13% increase in Republican vote. Second that the Texas GOP has been increasing its support among Hispanics as evidenced by Feb 9th Gallup poll so Democrat assumptions are flawed,” Munisteri concluded.
At the time of the Gallop Poll, Von Ormy (near San Antonio) Mayor Art Martinez de Vara said in an interview with Breitbart Texas, “Analysts often make the mistake of lumping all Hispanics together and that simply doesn’t work.”
Mayor Martinez de Vara, an avid Texas historian, said Texas Hispanics are more attuned with Texas cultures. “Tejanos and other indigenous cultures blended with immigrants to Texas from the United States in the early 1800s and developed a common sense of independence. Today, that frontier independence translates into a distrust of government, a desire for less government, a respect for firearms and strong family values.”
More recently voters can look at how the Democrat standard bearer, Wendy Davis, did in her primary run in the Texas Democrat Primary. Breitbart Texas reported, in an article by Logan Churchwell, that Davis lost her race against an unknown candidate in half of the fourteen heavily Hispanic counties along the Texas/Mexico border. Her opponent, Reynaldo “Ray” Madrigal was spending very little, if any money, and not even running a campaign. Churchwell reported, “Davis lost to Madrigal by substantial gaps in Webb, Zapata, Starr and Hidalgo Counties while managing to fall flat in three lesser populated jurisdictions along the western portion of the border.”
Mayor Martinez de Vara concluded his remarks stating, “Our mission now, as Republicans, is to continue to demonstrate how our party’s values match up more closely with those in the Hispanic community - especially in south Texas where people have voted for Democrats historically. The Democratic Party of today is much different than it was twenty years ago.”
The Post article states “On average, support for the Democratic candidate dropped 10 percent by county between Gore and Kerry. It increased 5 percent between Bush and Obama, and then dropped another 13 percent between 2008 and 2012. Between 2000 and 2012, cities and the border areas voted consistently more Democratic. But the central, emptier part of the state got a lot more red.”
The vague trends led the Post to conclude, “All we can do is look at how the state evolves over time. Over the past 10 years, the population shift was subtle and the voting change barely noticeable. In 2000, Al Gore won 24 of the state's counties. In 2012, Obama did better. He won 25.”
Bob Price is a staff writer and a member of the original Breitbart Texas team. Follow him on Twitter @BobPriceBBTX.