Since the meteoric rise of former El Paso Congressman Beto O’Rourke last year in his U.S. Senate bid against Republican Sen. Ted Cruz, political analysts from both sides of the political aisle have been claiming that Texas is now a swing state and will soon be considered a blue state. With O’Rourke losing by only 220,000 votes last year, these claims are unsurprising, but not at all accurate.
Although O’Rourke came within 2.6 percentage points of defeating Cruz, his race will likely be an exception, not the rule, due to a number of reasons – one of those being money. O’Rourke ended up spending over $59 million to Cruz’s $33 million. Besides spending almost double that of Sen. Cruz in the 2018 election cycle, O’Rourke benefitted from an exceptionally poor cycle for Republicans, who lost 42 U.S. House seats and 7 Governorships.
Another reason often believed to be evidence Texas is going blue is the growing Latino population, which is soon to be the largest voting bloc in Texas. However, what is rarely discussed is how competitive Texas Republicans can be with Latinos, compared to Republicans in other states like California. In 2014, Sen. John Cornyn and Gov. Gregg Abbott received 48% and 44% of the Latino vote, respectively.
On top of Republicans performing well with Latinos, the issues that Texans care most about, namely immigration and border security, are not strong issues for liberal Democrats. A 2018 University of Texas/Texas Tribune poll found that the most important issues to voters were immigration at 21% and border security at 16%, which Republicans have made a priority at both the state and federal level. Just last week, a poll found that 57% of Texans, including 22% of Democrats, supported Gov. Abbott’s decision to send 1,000 National Guard troops to help secure the southern border. President Trump and the Republicans in Congress have attempted numerous times to pass legislation that would secure the border and fix the asylum laws while Democrats have repeatedly dismissed the situation at the border as a “manufactured crisis.”
Another reason certain pundits believe Texas is going blue is because of the large influx of voters from other states. From 2005 to 2013, an estimated 4.8 million people moved to Texas from other states, many of which came from heavily Democratic states, such as California. In 2013 alone, 62,386 people moved from California to Texas, which leads many to believe that Texas is only gaining more liberal voters. However, if you look at the 2018 exit polls, more Native Texans voted for O’Rourke than for Cruz while Cruz did exceptionally well with those who moved to Texas, receiving 57% of the vote to O’Rourke’s 42%.
Based off of exit poll data, it seems that Republican and Republican-leaning voters from states like California are moving to Texas, which requires explanation.
The main reason is that Republicans on the state and federal level are delivering results and fighting for the issues that Texans care most about. The U.S. economy is booming right now, with real GDP growth over 3% and unemployment rates for African-Americans and Latinos at record lows, due, in large part, to free-market principles embraced by the Republican Party. The Texas economy, on the other hand, has been booming for years as a result of low taxes and regulations that welcomes businesses to the state.
As Republicans deliver results, Democrats in Texas and across the country are embracing socialist policies that would bankrupt future generations and destroy the U.S. economy. As long as Republicans continue pushing for free-market principles, a secure border and freedom, not socialism, Texas will remain red.