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The Changing Demographics Of Texas Essay

1649 words - 7 pages

In the United States, for the last four decades, from Richard Nixon to Ronald Reagan through the two Bush Presidencies, the Republican Party won the White House by amassing large margins among white voters (Lizza.) The state of Texas has been reliably Republican since the 1970s and there are various elements to Texas political culture that can be narrowed down to three essential ideological trends: economic liberalism, or faith in the free market economy, social conservatism, or favoring traditional values and moralism, and populism, or promoting the rights and worthiness of ordinary people (Texas Political Culture.) As a result, the dominant political mood in Texas favors low taxes, minimal government services, and policies that are pro-business. This phenomenon is not static, however, since changing demographics in the state are causing changes in the profile of Texas in reference to electoral politics, among other major issues. This paper will explore different perspectives about the changing demographics of Texas, and where they might lead the state politically, and will present a variety of viewpoints regarding this complex subject.
The political future of Texas has been widely debated since the 2012 election of Pres. Barack Obama, since the state has always played a significant role in impacting national elections. Nationally, there was uneven support among minority voters in favor of the president and Democrats, and as a result there has been an increasing interest in the Hispanic population growth in Texas (Lawrence.) The speculation regards how the changing complexion of Texas voters will influence the political process, with political pundits broadly predicting that since the Latino population typically votes for Democrats, there is a possibility that Texas will eventually become a blue state. The Hispanic voting public in Texas grew by 38% between 2000 and 2010, and many Republicans have come to the conclusion that unless their Party is able to woo voters from this population, they are destined to lose elections in states like Texas.
Whether or not there is a legitimate reason for Republicans to worry about states like Texas leaning Democratic because of their minority, including Hispanic, populations, may depend largely on the level of political engagement of these groups. Increasing voter registration and turnout is a decidedly mixed proposition for the Republicans: if past is prologue, Latinos tend to vote Democrat so that in order for Republicans to prevail in elections, they must either launch an aggressive campaign to win over Latinos, or try to suppress the Latino vote so that there will be fewer votes for Democrats. For Texas, its electoral future depends on whether it can engage a larger number and broader range of its citizens to meet the opportunities and challenges that lay ahead (Lawrence.) If not, Texas will continue to be a state in which there are minimal levels of voter participation overall, and where minority...

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