Without Texas, Republicans are doomed

By Aristophanes

If Hillary Clinton had won Texas in the 2016 election, she would now be president, barring only the whim of unfaithful electors.

Despite Donald Trump’s narrow upsets in the Rust Belt, where he flipped Pennsylvania, Michigan and Wisconsin, and his command over a slew of traditional swing states, including Florida, Ohio and North Carolina, one loss in Lone Star territory would have doomed the entire venture.

In 2020, electoral votes will be reapportioned to coincide with changes in state populations. This will result in a combined gain for three of the most populous, and partisan, states: California, New York and Texas.

The Democratic Party currently controls two of those states, and is gaining ground on the third. Texas is moving quickly to the left. If it flips, becoming a reliably blue state, the Republican Party may never control the White House again.

Consider the math.

In the current electorate, we can sort each state and Washington, D.C., into one of three categories: solid blue, solid red or bellwether.

Solid-blue states are those the Democrats have won in at least four of the last five presidential elections. In total, 21 states fall into this category, netting a whopping 251 electoral votes.

Likewise, solid-red states represent those the GOP has won in the same amount. This describes 24 states, more than the Democrats, but only 206 electoral votes.

That leaves 81 electoral votes in the bellwether category.

Click the map to create your own at 270toWin.com

However, say Texas is transferred from solid red to solid blue. Suddenly, Democrats have an enormous base advantage: 289 to 168. When 270 votes are sufficient to win, this puts the national party in an extraordinarily advantageous position. Under this hypothetical, they win the presidency by merely holding every solid-blue state — no swing states required.

Click the map to create your own at 270toWin.com

But, indeed, this only matters if Texas actually does flip.

Signs point that it will.

The modern Democratic Party has an advantage in attracting urban voters, as it tends to appeal to cosmopolitan cultural values. Many Texan cities, such as San Antonio, Austin, Dallas and, most notably, Houston, are expanding at a breakneck pace. This urbanization fosters fertile breeding ground for further inroads.

According to data from the U.S. Census Bureau, Texas is among the top-three fastest growing states. A large portion of this increase is due to the aforementioned cities.

Democrats draw a disproportionate amount of support from racial and ethnic minorities. In Texas, it’s the non-white population that’s growing the quickest. Unless the Republican Party alters its fiery rhetoric on immigration, it will cede this expanding electorate into the hands of its chief opponent.

Further, one can look at past presidential margins as an indicator of the blue wave to come. In 2012, Barack Obama lost Texas to Mitt Romney by a 16-point margin. In 2016, Hillary Clinton narrowed the deficit to 9 points. This progress is all the more notable when one considers that Obama won the overarching election, while Clinton lost.

The national environment is favorable for the Democrats, as well; this may also have implications for Texas. Up-and-coming generations are measurably more liberal than the ones they’re gradually replacing. Core Republican voting blocks are on the precipice of hollowing out as the white percentage of the population declines and the number of outwardly religious Protestants wanes.

The specific data points are scattered, but generally indicative of an environment favorable for Democratic growth.

In 2018, Republican Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas, will run for re-election, assumedly to face Rep. Beto O’Rourke, the leading Democratic challenger. Cruz will likely win, but at least one poll has the match-up at a dead heat (albeit with a large portion of undecided voters).

The national apparatus of the GOP should watch and take note. If O’Rourke ousts Cruz, or even comes close, it’s only the beginning. If the state is suddenly sprouting competitive senatorial races, it could be a harbinger of danger on the presidential level, too.

The political playing field is never as stable as it seems. In such contests, taking your base for granted is the height of hubris.

Just ask Hillary Clinton and her supposed Blue Wall.


America’s future is Texas,” from The New Yorker

Could Texas become the next swing state?” from KVUE, an ABC-affiliate station in Austin

The GOP should be worried about Texas,” from U.S. News & World Report

Home → Politics → United States

3 thoughts on “Without Texas, Republicans are doomed

  1. I can say, living in Houston, I see this first hand. There are more liberals here now than ever before. Barring just a horrible democratic candidate, you may be correct in your musings!


  2. If Texas would stand up to the Libs things would be different. Texas should deport ALL Illegals they apprehend and tell the Libs where to go. Texas has huge opportunity to show other states how it’s done. Federal law is already in Texas favor so why Texas won’t Texas stand up and tell Libs that they won’t obey the crazy Libs?


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