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Turing Texas Blue is the Democrats’ Latest 2020 Fantasy

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Turing Texas Blue is the Democrats’ Latest 2020 Fantasy

Turing Texas Blue is the Democrats’ Latest 2020 Fantasy
August 09
19:08 2019

Every four years Democrats entertain the fantasy that a diehard Red State will finally turn Blue.  The argument is always the same.  Far-reaching demographic changes are pushing these states into the Blue column, Democrats say.   A take down of the GOP is inevitable.

It’s simply not true.  Democrats are making a critical error:  Confusing raw population growth with registered voter share, and registered voter share with voter turnout.

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A growth in Democratic-tilting constituencies – for example African-Americans and Hispanics – does not necessarily translate into a new polling advantage.

Furthermore, GOP-tilting constituencies—mainly Whites, especially males,– may be experiencing a higher voter turnout rate, offsetting their population decline.

We already saw this trend in 2016.  Democrats bragged of their ability to “flip” Georgia and Arizona which had voted Red for decades.  It didn’t happen, not by a long shot.  There were more African-American and Hispanic voters, but too many stayed home.  And in Arizona, many Hispanics tend to be conservative; a healthy share cast their ballots for Trump.

Now Democrats are setting their sights on Texas, a blockbuster state with 38 electoral votes. Turning the Lone Star State Red would likely give Democrats a victory in 2020.

But it’s the same fantasy.

Trump won Texas by 9 points in 2016.  As in past elections, more than a third of Hispanics voted for him, according to exit polls..  African-Americans voted overwhelmingly for Clinton.  But White voters surged and delivered the state for Trump.

Based on their recent history, Democrats should have known better.  In 2012, they made the mistake of running a feminist state legislator – Wendy Davis, famous for her filibuster on abortion in her trademark pink sneakers — for governor, thinking the state was fed up with Republicans.

She got shellacked.  She even lost the women’s vote.  It was a humiliating defeat that set back the Democratic cause in Texas for years.

But don’t tell Democrats that.  They have several national standard-bearers that hail from Texas and they want you to believe that the state will turn Blue in 2020.

The most prominent of these is former Texas congressman Beto O’Rourke, who is running for president and wants you to believe that he can defeat Trump if he’s nominated.  O’Rourke ran a strong race against Republican senator Ted Cruz in 2018 and has been a Democratic media darling ever since.

And a real dud on the campaign trail.

He’s currently polling near 3% in the Democratic primary field.  Polls show he’s running second to Joe Biden in Texas.  In head-to-head polling with Trump, he loses nationally and fails to carry Texas.

Julian Castro also hails from Texas as does his brother Joaquin, both congressmen.  Julian Castro has even less of a chance of winning the Democratic nomination and like O’Rourke, polls poorly against Trump nationally.

The real case for a Democratic breakthrough in Texas in 2020 doesn’t reside with its two native Sons.  It’s based on the popularity of Joe Biden, who is leading the Democratic field and also Trump in head-to-head polling in Texas, the only Democratic candidate with a statistically significant lead there.

But can he really flip the state?   Even some Republicans are beginning to worry.   Chris Stirewalt , the  Fox News political director, said this week that Biden’s candidacy is troubling.

Again, the argument trends to be broadly demographic. Texas cities and rural counties along that border tend to vote Democratic.  However, the vast majority of rural countries vote overwhelming Republican

The problem?  Urban countries are mushrooming in size, relative to rural counties.  Between 2010 and 2018, the 27 metro counties in Texas added almost 3 million people, compared to just 375,000 for the 199 non-metro, non-border counties.

In theory, that means that Democrats are gaining a real potential advantage.   But does it translate into an actual political advantage?   Probably not, if the affiliation gap between urban and rural countries is also widening.

Trump, with a 9 point lead from 2016, would have to suffer a catastrophic loss in urban areas to lose the state.  There’s no sign of this happening, in fact.

Democrats are hoping that Trump is alienating large numbers of White women, both suburban and rural, moderate Republican and independent, with his policies and comments on gender.  They’re also hoping that his harsh rhetoric about border control and deportations is turning off Hispanics.

Instead, what appears to be happening is that the Texas electorate is simply becoming more polarized.

For example, while a  majority of Texas border residents say they are opposed to a US-Mexico wall, they strongly support Trump on immigration overall.

In fact, this tilt toward Trump on immigration is making border residents more predisposed to vote for Trump in 2020 – a clear reversal from 2016.

Democrats also still face a real problem getting potentially pro-Democratic Hispanics to register, let alone vote.  Many turn out to be as cynical about the two parties as mainstream voters are.

Still, Biden’s polling lead against Trump in Texas should be a clear warning sign.  It indicates how the president may need to soften some of his policy rhetoric.  He should make fresh overtures to disaffected swing voters.

But dream on Democrats.  Texas is still Trump’s to lose – by a long shot.

About Author

Stewart L

Stewart L

Stewart Lawrence is a trained sociologist and political scientist and a regular columnist for the Washington Times and the Federalist. He is also a former feature contributor to Inside Philanthropy, Counterpunch and the Huffington Post. In 2012 and 2016, he covered the US presidential election campaign for the conservative news magazine Daily Caller. His work has also appeared in the Los Angeles Times, Christian Science Monitor and Washington Post. He is currently working on a book about the politics of US immigration policy.

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  1. kbhret
    kbhret August 10, 18:14

    TX is already about half Mexican….

    Reply to this comment
  2. Barbara L. Moss
    Barbara L. Moss August 10, 18:16

    I think you are assuming it’s a fair election and ONLY U.S. CITIZENS are registering and voting. The Democrats have reached the point of desperation and will do everything they can to defeat President Trump, even if it means breaking election laws. We know non-citizens were allowed (encouraged?) to vote and some citizens voted several times in the last election. It will happen again and, the Democrats hope, in much higher numbers. Democrats cannot win in a fair and honest election, especially with their current crop of “hopefuls”.

    Reply to this comment
  3. JoeyP
    JoeyP August 10, 18:17

    Texas turning BLUE?!? . . . May Texas RIP if it happens. Just looking at California, etc. should be a warning shot “across the bow”. Instruct the “low information” voters what is going on! Save the state – save Texas. Team Trump and his allies 2020.

    Reply to this comment
  4. Kurt Walker
    Kurt Walker August 10, 21:37

    Look at that photo. Everyone grinning like a ‘possum eating crap from a wire brush. And this is supposed to impress you, LOL???

    Reply to this comment
  5. William
    William August 10, 22:54

    As the Democraps allow more and more illegal(s) votes, They may turn a few states blue. Our Citizens should make the politicians put a stop to more and more illegals and the diseases they bring with them, along with the welfare costs.

    Reply to this comment

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