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Author Topic: Is Texas really turning blue?  (Read 3930 times)
The Mikado
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« on: December 06, 2018, 06:42:33 pm »

I've been saying for a while that Texas is going to become the next Florida: a Lean R swing state. It's not there yet, but I also don't think it's going to end up more Dem than the national average for a long time. But that said, even being a winnable swing state is a catastrophe for the GOP. They'll have to play defense on very expensive turf.
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The Mikado
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« Reply #1 on: December 07, 2018, 07:57:29 pm »

yeah its really tough to see the GOP winning without texas. I think it will remain swing for a while but they need to do something else. On the other hand a trend D in Texas is great for the GOP because it gives them even a better advantage in the senate relative to the nation.

Does this mean a Democrat President for an entire generation or dare I say single-party rule for 50 to 100? If Texas swings blue, is this the death kneel for the GOP and American Conservatism as we know it?

It could mean 4 straight D terms but the GOP should adjust after the next recession.. Also the senate is still winnable for the GOP thx to the small state advantage.

So two presidents then, well that does seem rather long but maybe not the end of the world for the GOP (and conservatives who could use the time to rebuild the party). Also, to be fair, Texas isn't the only problem for the Republicans. Do you think they will be able to adapt in the long-term?

every party has adapted in the long term. Only atlas D hacks think that demos spell the end of the GOP.I can see it giving some trouble for maybe 12 years 16 max as I said but no party can control the presidency for longer than that as a recession happens atleast once every 20 years.

Here's the thing: it's basically impossible for the GOP to survive in a setting where 3 out of the 4 largest states are Democratic and the other one is a swing state. The GOP's route will either have to be shoring up Texas (totally possible and way more likely than Dems on here think) or somehow making inroads in CA or NY or IL to at least partially make up for Texas. The latter would require what you're describing, a major realignment in who votes for which party.

The GOP is much, much better off trying to patch up its fences in TX, and the next Democratic presidency might actually do a lot towards that goal as those white suburbanites are faced with a Democratic agenda on the news every day rather than an ignorant buffoon as the face of the GOP. If the GOP does lose TX (and I hope I'm being clear that that is a big "if"), they need to swing over some heavily Dem states to make up for that loss, as TX is large and gets larger by the day. It might well go from 36 to 39 House seats next time. If TX does become a Colorado or Virginia style "safe D by 5-10 points" state (which I'm not predicting it will) while California, New York, and Illinois are all safe D, that is a massive crisis for the GOP and one without an easy solution.

EDIT: To make it 100% clear where I'm going with this, the GOP's answer to "how do we lose Texas" has to be "we can't lose Texas." There's no way to make up Texas that's easier than devoting their energy to trying to keep it.
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The Mikado
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« Reply #2 on: December 10, 2018, 03:17:16 am »

No...its being turned off by Trump. I don't trust that suburbanites will vote for Democrats as they continue moving left once Trump is out of the picture. If the election was Nikki Haley VS Bernie Sanders, are we really supposed to expect that Dallas and Fort Worth and Fort Bend and Williamson counties would vote D?

They wouldn't, they'd deliver a Bush level victory...let's also remember Bush won the governorship by only 8 the first time, then by 30.

Haley wouldn't win TX by 23 points vs Bernie Sanders. (Bush 2004 margin) Maybe she'd win it by 12 or 13.
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The Mikado
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« Reply #3 on: December 18, 2018, 12:02:31 pm »

Whether Texas goes blue at a statewide level doesn't really matter, a long as the Republicans control the state legislature. You could theoretically have a Democratic Governor and Lieutenant Governor elected, only for their powers to be stripped in a lame duck session, as you saw in other states. Or you could have Texas lean blue in the Electoral College, only for the state legislature to decide that Texas' EVs will be apportioned by congressional district, and then gerrymander those congressional districts. You could have 55% of Texas going for the Democrat for president, but the Republican win the EC because most EVs went to the Republican.

The only area where the statewide vote matters, thanks to the 17th Amendment, is the Senate, but there, Texas is no more significant than any other state.

The real question in Texas, like in so many other states, is whether the state legislature will go blue.

If Dems win the Lt. Governor seat, it'd require a state constitutional amendment (and referendum) to get rid of the Lt. Governor's most important role: being de facto State Senate Majority Leader. Alternately, if the GOP still holds the State Senate, Lt. Gov is kind of irrelevant.

The TX Governor's only real power is the veto and calling special legislative sessions, outside of that there's no real authority in the governor's hands because almost all of the statewide officials are elected rather than appointed.
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The Mikado
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« Reply #4 on: December 18, 2018, 09:57:00 pm »

Do texas dems have a path to winning the state house? I haven't read that

yeah the dems should invest heavily into it for fair maps in the 20's

Its easier than statewide due to the gerrymanders becoming dummymanders
Dallas went from 8R-6D to 12D-2R.  Get houston and San Antonio and the dems have a majority.

I think Beto won an easy majority of state legislative districts. The gerrymander really backfired on the Republicans. That said, unless the Dems can break through in 2020, the Republicans probably just re-gerrymander in 2022 and it's all moot - though a 2022 gerrymander may not survive all the way until 2030 (and would by necessity be less aggressive than the 2012 gerrymander in any case).

I think people are really overestimating how easy TX will be to redraw for the GOP, even on the House end. A new TX GOP-drawn map is going to have to be very, very conservative with a focus on creating Dem sink districts. It's not just the state's changing partisan lean as it is where the obscenely quick population growth is happening: the same suburban counties that are trending Dem, along with the already Dem urban counties, are going to have a massive increase in number of seats allocated.
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The Mikado
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« Reply #5 on: December 19, 2018, 12:43:47 pm »

Do texas dems have a path to winning the state house? I haven't read that

yeah the dems should invest heavily into it for fair maps in the 20's

Its easier than statewide due to the gerrymanders becoming dummymanders
Dallas went from 8R-6D to 12D-2R.  Get houston and San Antonio and the dems have a majority.

I think Beto won an easy majority of state legislative districts. The gerrymander really backfired on the Republicans. That said, unless the Dems can break through in 2020, the Republicans probably just re-gerrymander in 2022 and it's all moot - though a 2022 gerrymander may not survive all the way until 2030 (and would by necessity be less aggressive than the 2012 gerrymander in any case).

I think people are really overestimating how easy TX will be to redraw for the GOP, even on the House end. A new TX GOP-drawn map is going to have to be very, very conservative with a focus on creating Dem sink districts. It's not just the state's changing partisan lean as it is where the obscenely quick population growth is happening: the same suburban counties that are trending Dem, along with the already Dem urban counties, are going to have a massive increase in number of seats allocated.

You have less faith in gerrymandering abilities. The Republicans managed to gerrymander themselves into control of the *New York* state Senate for most of the past decade (and before then), after all. On a state legislative level they can also rely on malapportionment (which I don't think they do now). The Supreme Court has allowed fairly significant variances in state legislative districts, even on a systematic level (again, witness the New York state Senate).

I'll just point out some stuff from my area:

DFW currently has two seats designed to be Dem sink seats (TX-30 and TX-33).

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TX-30 is centered on heavily black and Hispanic South Dallas, as well as the heavily black suburbs south of Dallas, while TX-33 is centered on heavily Hispanic West Dallas and western suburbs as well as big chunks of Fort Worth.

All of these areas are growing and growing faster than the state average, even if not growing faster than the suburban boom areas. TX-30 and TX-33 will both have to be significantly physically smaller in their next iterations (TX-33 might well be kicked mostly out of Dallas to just be a Fort Worth and Mid Cities district due to Ft Worth's growth). This is a huge problem to the GOP because these seats are as Dem packed as can be. TX-30 can either take itself further south, giving the northern parts of it to TX-32 and TX-05, or pull itself north and give all of the suburbs south of Dallas to TX-06, dragging TX-06 into Dallas County. TX-33 shrinking in west Dallas and the west Dallas suburbs risks dragging TX-06 again or TX-24 into those areas.

When districts that are already as packed as can be have to shrink physically, it drags Republican seats into heavily Democratic turf. The GOP can get around this by moving TX-32 south and west and making it another Dem sink seat at the cost of giving up winning it again (shoring up TX-24 in the process), but even that has its own negative costs.

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TX-05 is a safe GOP seat under its current configuration as a pairing of heavily Dem east Dallas, still heavily R but shifting suburban Kaufman County, and a bunch of blood red rural areas, but east Dallas and Kaufman are growing and the rurals aren't. The next iteration of this district will have to have way less rural land if it intends to keep East Dallas and Kaufman, and while Kaufman is safe R today, who the hell knows by 2030? If present suburban trends continue, it'll likely be a swing county by the end of the next map.

These are just examples. This new map is going to be tough to draw in part just because the Dem sink seats are going to be geographically smaller and a lot of those precincts are going to have to spill into neighboring districts.

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If TX-06 is forced to crawl into southern Dallas County, it's immediately a ticking time bomb. Maybe it wouldn't be a swing state in 2022, but it certainly would be by the end of the decade.
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