Democrat Pro-Choice Message Failing with Hispanics in Texas

Democrat Pro-Choice Message Failing with Hispanics in Texas

Prominent liberals, including the group “Battleground Texas,” have recently launched efforts to try to “turn Texas Blue.” But these kickoff events, which have coincided with elected officials in Texas trying to pass pro-life legislation, may have come at the most inopportune time. 

As even Politico noted, there is “just one problem” with these efforts: “Latinos as a group oppose abortion more strongly than most other voting groups.”

Texas state Senator Wendy Davis galvanized liberals when she filibustered a popular bill that would have banned abortions after 20 weeks and made abortion clinics safer. But those issues are not appealing to Hispanic voters, whom Democrats in Texas have to win over to turn the state blue. 

According to Politico, “in their candid moments, Democrats acknowledge that abortion isn’t the issue they would have picked to lead the pitch for Latino votes.”

“Is this the issue we would have picked to turn Texas blue? No,” Terri Burke, executive director of the American Civil Liberties Union of Texas, told the publication. “It was kind of thrust at us. We didn’t pick it.”

Outgoing Republican Texas Gov. Rick Perry has called another special session of the legislature to get the pro-life bill passed, ensuring the issue will be in the political spotlight for the next month, when Battleground Texas will host its first Washington, D.C. fundraiser. Prominent Democrats in Texas–like San Antonio Mayor Julian Castro and his twin brother, Rep. Joaquin Castro (D-TX)–have headlined events for the group. 

Politico also noted that a Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life “found that 53 percent of Hispanic Catholics say abortion should be illegal in all or most cases,” which is a “lower percentage than white evangelical Protestants and Mormons,” but higher than “all other religious voting groups, including white Catholics, white mainline Protestants, black Protestants, and Jews.”

Furthermore, a poll conducted by the Texas state GOP found that “62 percent of Texas Hispanics who voted in the 2012 election described themselves as pro-life while just 32 percent called themselves pro-choice.”