The notion of a Blue Texas is being pitched as a horror story to motivate "red" voters in Texas
); it has has been shrugged off as implausible in the short term by others
-- although this New Republic piece at least is focused only on the possibility of it happening by natural population growth and legislation, and not by other machinations
-- and it has been pronounced inevitable in the long term by still others
, especially if the monolithic white vote in Texas can be penetrated to some degree.
Here is one narrative which some pundits are pitching as to how a Hillary Clinton
(or insert Democrat
here, maybe even Barack Obama
himself miraculously running for a third term) might win a 2016 election US presidential election (assuming that one, in fact, happens).
The 2016 election was, by most counts, a "shellacking" for the Democratic candidate. S/he lost every state that his/her predecessor, Barack Obama had picked up over both John Kerry and Al Gore in previous election cycles. S/he lost Florida. S/he lost Virginia. S/he cratered in North Carolina, Indiana, Ohio, and New Hampshire in the East; lost Minnesota, Iowa and that one district of Nebraska in the middle; and lost Colorado, New Mexico, and Nevada out West. S/he lost the popular vote by several millions. S/he won, in the end, only eighteen states -- and yet.... and yet s/he still managed to pull of an electoral victory, 270 electoral votes to his/her opponent's 268.
How, how could s/he possibly have won the election on such a small collection of states? By winning Texas. Yep, you read that right, Texas, reddest of the red states. But how could this have happened?
Well, a lot of people just scratched their heads and shrugged when it was revealed that close to 90% of the population growth in Texas since the previous census had been Hispanic. Sure, Hispanics tended to vote Democrat when they voted, but they tended not to vote too. After all, much of the Hispanic population of the U.S. was not even made up of citizens.
What the Republicans didn't realize until the voting returns started pouring in was that large numbers of American Hispanics had been moved into Texas, quietly registering to vote in the months leading up to the ballot. They were coming not from Mexico, but from their birth-states of California, Nevada, Utah, Colorado, Arizona, New Mexico -- even Florida, New York, and New Jersey!! And, at the same time, the immigration reform bill pushed through the last Congress had made millions of immigrants eligible for citizenship, and eager to vent their frustration with perceived Republican opposition to their efforts to achieve that status.
So, while John McCain had trounced Obama by nearly a million votes out of eight million cast in Texas in 2008, and Mitt Romney had upped that to 1.2 million, the Democrats had more than made up the difference with their silent campaign to move two million more of America's forty million Hispanic citizens (and of the ten million Hispanic Democratic voters) into Texas by mid 2012. It was still close, though not a squeaker, with the Democrat taking the 38 electoral votes of Texas by just over a fifty thousand votes out of over eight million cast.
Had they figured out what was going on, the Republicans could have engineered a countermove, getting conservative voters to move to the Lone Star State. But instead, caught flat-footed, they allowed an historic first, the election of a president whose party had lost numerous states from the previous election.... and picked up just one new win.
Now, the question rises, how plausible is the scenario of an engineered overturning of the tendencies of a massive electoral prize?
Well, probably not very much. The simple truth is, firstly, that people are inclined to move for economic reasons far and above over political ones, and in any event it would be nearly impossible
to get that many people to move from one place to another for any
reason without the effort being unearthed. And, if done publicly, it would simply invite the logical countermove -- getting more white people to move to Texas, which has never been a problem in the past.
The question of Texas going blue is never going to be about the number of members of one ethnicity who can be persuaded to relocate there. Yes, inevitably demographic trends will make Texas an Hispanic state, but not for well over a decades, and history teaches us the impossibility of forecasting what voting patterns any given group will exhibit that far in the future (remember, African Americans were once almost universally Republican). So if Blue Texas is to be had, it is more likely as part of the upsweeping trend of white liberal youth, and perhaps a dose of white liberal Christianity