Republicans SHOOK About Texas. No, Not The El Paso Attack, It's Something Else.
Y'all, Republicans are shitting their everloving pants about Texas. And as we said in that headline, NO, SILLY, we don't mean the El Paso terrorist attack. They are thoughts-ing and prayers-ing about that, and a couple of them are even saying, "White supremacists are bad, MMKAY?" But that doesn't rise to the level of SHOOK.
What they are SHOOK about is the fact that 2020 could actually, possibly, theoretically, if the stars align just perfectly, be the year Texas inches itself over into the blue column. Nobody wants to say that out loud, because we've been hearing for hundreds of millions of years now that one of these days, and it won't be long, Texas will become a purple state, and then a blue state, by force of pure demographics alone. It is definitely going to happen, we just don't know exactly when. But in possibly related news, yet another Texas Republican, Kenny Marchant of the 24th district in the Dallas suburbs has announced he will not seek re-election to Congress in 2020. He's the fourth Texas Republican to make that decision, after Will Hurd, Pete Olson and Mike Conaway.
As the New York Timesnotes, Conaway's district is full-on wingnut, but Hurd and Olson represent districts that very well might oughta flip with their Republican incumbents bowing out. Hurd's district, TX-23, is enormous, stretches along the border from the San Antonio suburbs to the El Paso suburbs, and is majority Hispanic. It's almost a certain pick-up for Democrats. Olson's district, TX-22, is Houston suburbs. Things could change there too.
And Marchant's district, TX-24? Let the Times tell you it:
The same demographic forces were also looming for Mr. Marchant, whose district sprawls to the northwest of Dallas. After winning re-election by 33 percentage points in 2014, his margin of victory fell to 17 percentage points in 2016 and then plunged to just three points last year. Similarly, while Mitt Romney won the district by 22 points, Mr. Trump carried it by only six points in 2016.
That's a 16 point swing between the 2012 and 2016 elections. How many points could it swing in 2020?
María Teresa Kumar, the head of Voto Latino, pulls back the camera for a wider shot:
Will Hurd isn’t seeking re-election. Second TX Republican to “retire” in a week. So for the folks in the back. T… https://t.co/bCLKEWwbTm— María Teresa Kumar (@María Teresa Kumar) 1564776760.0
Want to know how much Texas is the game? Put it this way: At the 270 To Win Electoral College calculatin' website, if you take all of the states that are virtually guaranteed to go blue, Democrats start the 2020 election with 232. That is not including Pennsylvania, Michigan and Wisconsin, the three states where Trump and Russia pulled their unlikely inside straight to "win" the 2016 election, which is probably not going to happen in 2020. Nor does it include Florida or Arizona, which it rates as full swing states, or North Carolina, which is rated as a Republican leaner at this point, but could obviously conceivably go the other way.
232 virtually guaranteed electoral votes plus Texas equals ... 270. (In case you forgot, that's how many you need to win.)
2020 Presidential Election Interactive Map
2020 Presidential Election Interactive Mapwww.270towin.com
Again, nobody knows if this will be Texas's year to really purple it up like a common fuckin' Barney the TV dinosaur what is very purple. But it could!
And whatever happens in the presidential race, that will have effects down-ballot too -- it certainly did when Beto came so close to ousting Ted Cruz, GO RUN AGAINST JOHN CORNYN, BETO! -- which is why all these Republican congressmen might be seeing the writing on the wall and deciding to GTFO before the voters make the decision for them.
The Washington Posthad a piece Friday on how the GOP is freaking out about Texas, featuring quotes like this:
- Ted Cruz says Donald Trump's re-elect needs to "take Texas seriously" and that it is "by no means a given" that Trump will win the state in 2020.
- "U.S. census data show Texas is home to the nation's fastest-growing cities, and an analysis last month by two University of Houston professors predicted that 'metropolitan growth in Texas will certainly continue, along with its ever-growing share of the vote — 68 percent of the vote in 2016.'" This is important because the true story of electoral politics right now is not about blue states vs. red states, but that cities -- and the suburbs of them -- are all voting in very similar ways, no matter where they are. And the suburbs are going blue. (Or at least purple with blue polka dots.)
- "A Quinnipiac poll released in June found that 48 percent of Texans approved of Trump's job performance while 49 percent said they disapproved. That poll also found that Trump is effectively tied in Texas with several of the top contenders in the Democratic race."
None of this means Dems shouldn't focus on winning back obvious places, like the Rust Belt, and states like Arizona, Florida and North Carolina, which by all means SHOULD be in the blue column. But we shouldn't forget about Texas. As we said, nobody wants to say what year it's going to flip, but it is going to flip.
And like we said, the GOP is full-blown shitting its pants over it. Might as well give 'em a reason to!
[New York Times / Washington Post]
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