Exclusive analysis: If trends hold, Texas will be a toss-up state by 2024
By Richard Dunham
In the aftermath of President Barack Obama’s solid electoral vote victory — fueled by massive turnout among Latinos, African Americans and other minorities — Texas Democrats took some solace in hopes that the nation’s demographic tidal wave would eventually hit Texas.
San Antonio Mayor Julián Castro predicted Thursday on CNN that the reliably “red” Republican Lone Star State is well on its way to “purple” swing state status.
“Within the next six to eight years,” he said, “I believe that Texas will at least be a purple state, if not a blue state.”
The state’s rising Democratic superstar isn’t the only politician to speculate on the future political impact of the burgeoning Mexican American, African American and Asian American population in Texas, which accounted for 88 percent of the state’s 4.3 million population increase from 2000 to 2010.
“It’s a math question,” former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush told New York magazine this summer. “Four years from now, Texas is going to be a so-called blue state. Imagine Texas as a blue state, how hard it would be (for Republicans) to carry the presidency or gain control of the Senate.”
Everybody — from the Castro brothers to the Bush family — has a guess as to when Texas, which has not elected a Democratic statewide official in this century, will again become politically competitive. If ever.
So what’s the answer?