Friday, November 07, 2014

Latinos aren't going to rescue Texas Democrats

Local attorney Mark Yzaguirre.

Various observers will address particular points and provide certain suggestions, but let me focus anyone reading this piece on one figure: 40 percent. That number is the percentage of the Latino vote in Texas that I previously suggested is necessary for the Republican Party to maintain a strong working majority of the general election vote in Texas.

So what percentage of the Latino vote did Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott get in his victory over the Democratic nominee, State Senator Wendy Davis? Forty-four percent, according to exit polling from the Texas Politics Project at the University of Texas at Austin. If one breaks those numbers down by gender, 50 percent of Latino men and 39 percent of Latina women voted for Abbott. While African-American voters in Texas went 92 percent in favor of Davis, 73 percent of non-Latino white voters supported Abbott. Other exit polling largely matches the UT-Austin numbers. That combination of Anglo and Latino voters gave Abbott the landslide victory he achieved on Election Day. 

Well, he just put Marc Campos out of business.

The results of the 2014 elections vindicate that position. Democrats who think that the Latino vote is a lock for the Democratic Party need to be disabused of that false assumption immediately. The numbers cited above show that. Also, if one looks at county-by-county data, Greg Abbott was able to get strong pluralities in many of the generally pro-Democratic Latino counties of South Texas.


This election shows that the Republican Party in Texas is quite capable of making a play for a solid portion of the Texas Latino vote. If Democrats want to have any hope of changing the dynamics of statewide politics in Texas, they need to lose their illusions about a coming tide of Latino voters who will save them. They need to work to expand their lead among Latino voters and find a way to bring in a decent percentage of current non-Latino GOP voters into the fold. If they fail to do both, their wait for a demographic transformation will be a very long one that may never end.

Yeah, some good solid soul-searching is in order for Team Blue.  A little existential angst never killed anybody (who was able to pull themselves back from the edge, anyway).  That would be a good place, in fact, to start... once all the hand-wringing and crying and finger-pointing and backbiting work their way out of everybody's system.

Updates: More here.  And Stace with with more and better.


Infidel753 said...

But what was the overall turnout among Latinos in Texas? Nationally, turnout was only 38% (I've seen even lower figures cited) and Latino turnout is usually below the national average.

If 44% of those who voted went for Abbott, doesn't it seem most likely that -- as with the rest of the population -- only a small subset of Latinos voted, heavily skewed toward the most conservative members of the group? There's plenty of evidence that Latinos in general aren't conservative -- they poll quite favorable towards Obamacare, for example -- and a larger turnout, if achievable, should produce different results.

Gadfly said...

@Infidel ... per the abortion issue, and other things, Latinos, especially in Texas, aren't as liberal as one might wish. One indicator of this is religion; note the number of "Primera Iglesia Bautista" and other Spanish-language conservative evangelical Protestant churches.

As for Obamacare ... I'm trying to remember when Davis last mentioned the magic phrase "Medicaid expansion." Can you? Moore makes the same point in his link, about that, and that she offered Hispanics little in general.


Perry: I disagree with Moore's analysis of Davis' operation management to the degree that a fair-amount of her being "buttoned-down" seems to have come from her state Senate staffers/campaigners, not the DC folks.

You may be right that she was the best available candidate. That, in turn, means that more than "soul-searching" is needed. It means that, if part of BGTX's job is "candidate incubator," it needs to start doing that ... yesterday.

And, to some degree (but not totally, of course) the flip side of the coin of "finger pointing" is "accountability." I mean, at the national level, for Dems, Bob Shrum has had enough fingers pointed at him that he'll never run a Prez campaign again, not even Hillary 2016.

Gadfly said...

And, sidebar to Infidel, per your Blogger bio?

I've always thought the strong nuclear force was the most powerful force in the universe. Either that, or because it doesn't have only short range effect, gravity. Human intelligence falls far below that.