Texas: Population by CD

Texas has always been, in my mind, the most interesting state for redistricting in 2010, partly because it grew much more than any other state (it gained four seats, while no other state gained more than two), and partly because much of that growth was Hispanic. This sets up a major conflict in the redistricting process: the Republicans, who control the trifecta here, will want to draw as many of those four new seats for themselves as possible, obviously, but the Obama administration’s Dept. of Justice, via the Voting Rights Act, will compel the creation of as many majority-minority seats as possible. Given the numbers that came out today, Texas Republicans may actually feel lucky getting away with two of the four new seats… assuming that’s what they end up with, after the conclusion of the inevitable litigation process that will result.

Texas gained a whopping 4,293,741 people between 2000 and 2010, growing from 20,851,820 to 25,145,561. Of that 4+ million, only about 10% were non-Hispanic whites. The non-Hispanic white population in 2000 was 10,933,313, and in 2010 it’s 11,397,345, a difference of 464,032. Contrast that with the growth in Hispanics, who went from 6,669,616 to 9,460,921, a gain of 2,791,305. Expressed as percentages, Texas now has only a plurality, not a majority, of non-Hispanic whites. They make up 45.3% of the population in 2010, along with 11.5% non-Hispanic blacks, 3.8% non-Hispanic Asians, and 37.6% Hispanics. (In 2000, non-Hispanic whites were 52.4%, along with 11.3% black, 2.7% Asian, and 32% Hispanic. Those don’t add up to 100 because there are also categories for Native Americans, Pacific Islanders, two or more races, and “some other” race.)

With Texas about to expand to 36 seats, that means the target average for each new congressional district will be 698,488. Here’s a chart that looks at each current congressional district, giving old and new populations, the amount gained (or lost), and the “deviation,” which is what we’re calling how many people each district will need to shed (or in a few cases, gain) in order to hit its 2010 target. (In case you’re wondering, yes, the 2000 data is for the post-2004 DeLay-mander configurations of each district.) I’m also including the 2000 and 2008 presidential election results, so you can see which direction the districts are headed (very different, when you contrast the trend in rural east Texas districts with suburbs for the major cities).

District Rep. 2000 total 2010 total Total change Deviation 2000 election 2008 election
TX-01 Gohmert (R) 651,652 723,464 71,812 24,976 33/68 31/69
TX-02 Poe (R) 651,605 782,375 130,770 83,887 37/63 40/60
TX-03 Johnson, S. (R) 651,782 842,449 190,667 143,961 30/70 42/57
TX-04 Hall (R) 651,500 846,142 194,642 147,654 34/66 30/69
TX-05 Hensarling (R) 651,919 725,642 73,723 27,154 34/66 36/63
TX-06 Barton (R) 651,691 809,095 157,404 110,607 34/66 40/60
TX-07 Culberson (R) 651,682 780,611 128,929 82,123 31/69 41/58
TX-08 Brady (R) 651,755 833,770 182,015 135,282 31/69 26/74
TX-09 Green, A. (D) 651,086 733,796 82,710 35,308 69/31 77/23
TX-10 McCaul (R) 651,523 981,367 329,844 282,879 34/67 44/55
TX-11 Conaway (R) 651,590 710,682 59,092 12,194 25/75 24/76
TX-12 Granger (R) 651,770 831,100 179,330 132,612 36/64 36/63
TX-13 Thornberry (R) 651,665 672,781 21,116 (25,707) 26/74 23/77
TX-14 Paul (R) 651,837 779,704 127,867 81,216 36/64 33/66
TX-15 Hinojosa (D) 651,580 787,124 135,544 88,636 54/46 60/40
TX-16 Reyes (D) 652,363 757,427 105,064 58,939 59/41 66/34
TX-17 Flores (R) 651,509 760,042 108,533 61,554 32/68 32/67
TX-18 Jackson-Lee (D) 651,789 720,991 69,202 22,503 72/28 77/22
TX-19 Neugebauer (R) 651,610 698,137 46,527 (351) 25/75 27/72
TX-20 Gonzalez (D) 651,603 711,705 60,102 13,217 58/42 63/36
TX-21 Smith (R) 651,930 856,954 205,024 158,466 31/69 41/58
TX-22 Olson (R) 651,657 910,877 259,220 212,389 33/67 41/58
TX-23 Canseco (R) 651,149 847,651 196,502 149,163 47/54 51/48
TX-24 Marchant (R) 651,137 792,319 141,182 93,831 32/68 44/55
TX-25 Doggett (D) 651,477 814,381 162,904 115,893 47/53 59/40
TX-26 Burgess (R) 651,858 915,137 263,279 216,649 38/62 41/58
TX-27 Farenthold (R) 651,843 741,993 90,150 43,505 50/50 53/46
TX-28 Cuellar (D) 651,259 851,824 200,565 153,336 50/50 56/44
TX-29 Green, G. (D) 651,405 677,032 25,627 (21,456) 57/43 62/38
TX-30 Johnson, E. (D) 652,261 706,469 54,208 7,981 74/26 82/18
TX-31 Carter (R) 651,868 902,101 250,233 203,613 32/69 42/58
TX-32 Sessions (R) 650,555 640,419 (10,136) (58,069) 36/64 46/53

Now let’s turn to the changes in racial composition in each district. The Hispanic population increased in all of Texas’s 32 districts, with the smallest increase being 35,816 (in TX-32 in north Dallas, the only district which lost population overall – I’m not quite sure why this district lost population, other than the fact that it’s fairly dense, and boxed in by other urban districts, so it’s unable to sprawl in any direction). Eight districts gained more than 100,000 Hispanics each, with the biggest gain in the Laredo-based TX-28, gaining 166,375. The second biggest gain was 159,747 in TX-10, the wormlike district that links Houston’s western suburbs with Austin’s eastern suburbs and which gained a whole lot of everybody of all races. TX-10 is also more remarkable in that the Hispanic share of the total population nearly went up 10%, from 19% to 29% (by contrast, in TX-28, the Hispanic share barely increased, seeing as how they’re already the vast majority there).

These two existing districts point to where two of the new VRA districts are likeliest to pop up: the Rio Grande Valley, and the Houston area. (A new Hispanic-majority Houston seat would probably be located in the downtown and western parts of town, pushing TX-07 and then TX-10 further west.) The third possibility is a Dallas area Hispanic-majority seat, which might be anchored in downtown and western Dallas but wander further west to grab areas near DFW airport and maybe even in Fort Worth. The GOP, I’m sure, would prefer to try to limit the number of VRA seats to two, but it may be a difficult balancing act; in particular, it’ll be hard to avoid having a new VRA seat pop up in the Rio Grande Valley (thanks to huge growth in TX-15 and TX-23, too) if they’re going to try to reconstruct a more Republican-favorable TX-27 in order to protect unexpected new member Blake Farenthold (maybe linking Corpus Christi with Victoria instead of Brownsville, for instance).

District 2000 white White % 2010 white White % % change 2000 Hispanic Hispanic % 2010 Hispanic Hispanic % % change
TX-01 485,238 74.5 514,939 71.2 -3.2 59,688 9.2 109,499 15.1 6.0
TX-02 462,830 71.0 493,830 63.1 -7.9 82,578 12.7 176,196 22.5 9.8
TX-03 467,828 71.8 539,627 64.1 -7.7 111,121 17.0 186,890 22.2 5.1
TX-04 540,477 83.0 666,802 78.8 -4.2 50,410 7.7 110,993 13.1 5.4
TX-05 505,283 77.5 523,328 72.1 -5.4 83,113 12.7 157,037 21.6 8.9
TX-06 477,168 73.2 537,602 66.4 -6.8 103,380 15.9 185,397 22.9 7.0
TX-07 505,703 77.6 529,586 67.8 -9.8 117,392 18.0 198,587 25.4 7.4
TX-08 553,472 84.9 686,659 82.4 -2.6 58,820 9.0 128,027 15.4 6.3
TX-09 213,041 32.7 240,882 32.8 1.1 213,195 32.7 310,931 42.4 9.6
TX-10 490,353 75.3 676,833 69.0 -6.3 122,894 18.9 282,641 28.8 9.9
TX-11 523,788 80.4 577,078 81.2 0.8 192,811 29.6 257,633 36.3 6.7
TX-12 505,402 77.5 635,292 76.4 -1.1 154,032 23.6 239,268 28.8 5.2
TX-13 526,737 80.8 544,719 81.0 0.2 114,488 17.6 157,732 23.4 5.9
TX-14 491,492 75.4 588,513 75.5 0.1 162,778 25.0 226,440 29.0 4.1
TX-15 504,686 77.5 674,927 85.7 8.3 506,447 77.7 649,297 82.5 4.8
TX-16 483,295 74.1 620,074 81.9 7.8 507,249 77.8 617,465 81.5 3.8
TX-17 512,489 78.7 585,982 77.1 -1.6 100,241 15.4 157,049 20.7 5.3
TX-18 240,569 36.9 281,511 39.0 2.1 231,548 35.5 313,533 43.5 8.0
TX-19 502,156 77.1 549,589 78.7 1.7 188,932 29.0 235,973 33.8 4.8
TX-20 425,519 65.3 500,530 70.3 5.0 437,800 67.2 509,208 71.5 4.4
TX-21 531,029 81.5 680,337 79.4 -2.1 138,599 21.3 240,713 28.1 6.8
TX-22 464,216 71.2 557,629 61.2 -10.0 132,379 20.3 244,900 26.9 6.6
TX-23 467,321 71.8 672,404 79.3 7.6 423,648 65.1 562,913 66.4 1.3
TX-24 476,428 73.2 488,398 61.6 -11.5 116,586 17.9 214,851 27.1 9.2
TX-25 439,574 67.5 584,962 71.8 4.3 220,942 33.9 315,776 38.8 4.9
TX-26 474,910 72.9 652,345 71.3 -1.6 93,451 14.3 193,973 21.2 6.9
TX-27 495,162 76.0 623,615 84.0 8.1 443,919 68.1 543,306 73.2 5.1
TX-28 518,245 79.6 748,669 87.9 8.3 505,754 77.7 672,129 78.9 1.2
TX-29 357,764 54.9 398,350 58.8 3.9 430,980 66.2 514,861 76.0 9.9
TX-30 238,931 36.6 256,028 36.2 -0.4 223,200 34.2 280,508 39.7 5.5
TX-31 477,328 73.2 647,694 71.8 -1.4 106,121 16.3 195,753 21.7 5.4
TX-32 439,551 67.6 422,818 66.0 -1.5 235,626 36.2 271,442 42.4 6.2

Unfortunately, for some reason, while American Factfinder has “Hispanic or Latino by Race” available for entire states, the only data it currently has available at the CD level is the less precise “Race and Hispanic or Latino.” While that seems like a minor semantic distinction, this means there’s no way to parse out non-Hispanic white (and non-Hispanic black, etc.) for CDs. Bear in mind that “Hispanic,” for Census purposes, isn’t a race unto itself, but a box that gets checked in addition to race. So, while most people who check “Some other race” are Hispanic, not all Hispanics identify as “Some other race;” in fact, more than half of Hispanics identify as “white” (with most of the rest as “some other”) instead. This makes a big difference, in making the sample look whiter than it actually is (at least if one defines “white” in the narrow non-Hispanic sense). At the state level, in 2010, Texas appears as 70.4% white, 11.8% black, and 3.8% Asian in this format, in addition to 37.6% Hispanic. (Considering that adds up to 124%, it’s very confusing. Here, it’s also confusing because it makes districts with an already-large Hispanic majority look like they got even whiter, at the same time as they gained more Hispanics.) So, I’d focus more on the Hispanic column than on the white column in this table, and maybe I’ll revisit this when we get data on non-Hispanic whites.

More data over the flip…

Finally, here are tables for the African-American and Asian populations for each congressional district. While African-American growth is fairly slow (though seemingly faster than growth in non-Hispanic whites), the Asian growth in Texas is just as fast-paced as Hispanic growth (if not faster, in certain suburban districts).

District 2000 black Black % 2010 black Black % % change 2000 Asian Asian % 2010 Asian Asian % % change
TX-01 120,705 18.5 127,714 17.7 -0.9 3,256 0.5 6,487 0.9 0.4
TX-02 124,420 19.1 168,647 21.6 2.5 16,395 2.5 26,501 3.4 0.9
TX-03 59,496 9.1 97,376 11.6 2.4 54,246 8.3 102,783 12.2 3.9
TX-04 67,155 10.3 87,583 10.4 0.1 4,300 0.7 17,420 2.1 1.4
TX-05 80,743 12.4 100,881 13.9 1.5 10,365 1.6 14,086 1.9 0.3
TX-06 83,081 12.7 134,647 16.6 3.9 21,819 3.3 32,795 4.1 0.8
TX-07 36,603 5.6 78,428 10.0 4.4 44,670 6.9 79,224 10.1 3.3
TX-08 56,930 8.7 65,401 7.8 -0.9 5,098 0.8 11,934 1.4 0.6
TX-09 244,295 37.5 262,525 35.8 -1.7 69,533 10.7 79,853 10.9 0.2
TX-10 59,420 9.1 111,799 11.4 2.3 25,383 3.9 57,124 5.8 1.9
TX-11 26,925 4.1 28,410 4.0 -0.1 3,527 0.5 5,222 0.7 0.2
TX-12 36,133 5.5 56,115 6.8 1.2 14,963 2.3 24,464 2.9 0.6
TX-13 36,690 5.6 39,620 5.9 0.3 7,762 1.2 11,586 1.7 0.5
TX-14 63,978 9.8 71,281 9.1 -0.7 10,962 1.7 27,358 3.5 1.8
TX-15 12,020 1.8 12,169 1.5 -0.3 3,588 0.6 6,854 0.9 0.3
TX-16 20,477 3.1 24,499 3.2 0.1 6,946 1.1 8,205 1.1 0.0
TX-17 67,278 10.3 74,834 9.8 -0.5 9,434 1.4 15,071 2.0 0.5
TX-18 263,106 40.4 265,109 36.8 -3.6 21,547 3.3 24,340 3.4 0.1
TX-19 35,845 5.5 39,777 5.7 0.2 5,521 0.8 8,840 1.3 0.5
TX-20 43,738 6.7 51,563 7.2 0.5 9,964 1.5 13,859 1.9 0.4
TX-21 41,027 6.3 57,403 6.7 0.4 16,805 2.6 32,375 3.8 1.2
TX-22 61,165 9.4 129,682 14.2 4.8 50,695 7.8 115,594 12.7 4.9
TX-23 18,617 2.9 29,870 3.5 0.7 6,650 1.0 16,040 1.9 0.9
TX-24 63,194 9.7 117,088 14.8 5.1 39,716 6.1 75,088 9.4 3.3
TX-25 63,750 9.8 64,042 7.9 -1.9 12,146 1.9 18,460 2.3 0.4
TX-26 100,881 15.5 122,856 13.4 -2.1 14,125 2.2 35,991 3.9 1.7
TX-27 17,084 2.6 17,385 2.3 -0.3 5,091 0.8 8,837 1.2 0.4
TX-28 8,178 1.3 13,116 1.5 0.2 3,179 0.5 6,502 0.8 0.3
TX-29 65,414 10.0 68,630 10.1 0.1 8,492 1.3 7,826 1.2 -0.1
TX-30 271,812 41.7 293,203 41.5 -0.2 8,552 1.3 8,848 1.3 0.0
TX-31 84,561 13.0 113,076 12.5 -0.5 14,275 2.2 31,047 3.4 1.2
TX-32 50,833 7.8 54,869 8.6 0.8 26,923 4.1 33,982 5.3 1.2

58 thoughts on “Texas: Population by CD”

  1. The Hispanic growth in proportion to rest of the population is only going to accelerate. By my math Hispanics make up 48.3% of the Texan’s under 18 (33.6 % of the population over 18).  

  2. Looking at the numbers, I infer they mirror their vote for Republican candidates closely to Non-Hispanic whites.

  3. Saw this last week:

    Attorney Michael Hull of Austin, representing three North Texas voters, sued the state and a bunch of others, alleging that counting undocumented immigrants in political districts has an unfair and illegal effect on voters in districts with smaller numbers of non-citizens.

    The logic goes this way: If two districts have the same populations and one has more non-citizens than the other, it takes fewer voters in that district to swing an election. Fewer citizens means fewer voters means a smaller number makes a majority. Each vote is, compared to the district with more citizens, worth more.

    That’s interesting, but it’s probably not the main point of the lawsuit. This appears to be (insert an asterisk for uncertainty here) the first lawsuit filed on redistricting, and if the courts don’t burp it back up, it means the redistricting cases in Texas could go through a bunch of judges in and around Sherman. Hull asked for a three-judge panel – that’s normal in redistricting. This is also pro forma: The suit pulls in redistricting for Congress, the Legislature and the State Board of Education. A copy of the lawsuit is attached.


  4. and Yes Texas will be a big redistricting prize.  Here’s how I see the map breaking hispanic wise

    I personally don’t see another hispanic seat in Houston rather Congressman Green will find himself in a new seat.  His current seat will be as hispanic as possible with him being in it. I suspect he might move but some ambitious hispanic legislator will take him on.

    I think Travis county seat (Doggett)  will be more hispanic perhaps not 50% but close.

    I guess the numbers are shouting out for another Valley seat.  I hesitated about this but I guess its evitable.  I thought the GOP might try another plan and they still may but I guess we will see one more seat in the Valley.  The Northern part of CD15 (not very hispanic) and the Nueces county (part) will form part of a seat for Farenthold to try to hold.

    A new seat in the DFW area for hispanics

    Concesco’s CD23  & the New valley seat will be on the edge of 68% hisppanic.  They will try to find the most  republican precincts they can for CD23 & whatever number the new CD gets.

    So I am thinking two new CDs that will hispanic and two new GOP seats.  Conseco will be in a 50-50 seat but if anyone can win he will.  I doubt Farenthold survives the primary in his much more republican seat.

  5. Latino share of the vote in Texas according to Exit Polls in the last 4 elections.

    2010 17%

    2008 20%

    2006 15%

    2004 20%

    How high does it need to go for Democrats to start to have a shot statewide in Texas (assuming the Hispanic vote will favor the Democrats at least for a few more cycles) and how long until it gets there?

  6. The 2008 exit poll showed an electorate that was 63% white, and only 20% Hispanic, compared to a census that says the population is 18 points less white and 18 points more Hispanic.  In 2010 it was even worse, 67% white and only 17% Hispanic.  The black vote actually recorded in exit polls a couple points above census both times, at 13%, with Asians 2-3 points below census.  Of course some Hispanics are white and might have identified as such in an exit poll, and we don’t know how much of the disconnect comes from that.  But I bet Hispanic whites aren’t a huge percentage in the census.

    I imagine a large percentage of non-white Hispanics are documented or undocumented immigrants.  Only when their children, including in the case undocumented immigrants their American-born children, reach their early 30s will we see an electorate that is only plurality white.

    Texas Republicans have done a remarkable job os turnign the white vote so one-sidedly Republican that non-white vote growth hasn’t made a dent in elections.  But Republicans finally have hit a wall, I don’t they’re not going to be able to make Texas like Mississippi or Alabama where the white vote for statewide Democrats can go down as low as the teens.  Obama got 26% of the white vote in Texas, and Kerry got 25% the previous Presidential, so that’s pretty much the floor–basically about the same as in Georgia.

    I think by 2024 or so, another dozen years, we’ll start seeing Texas a tough hold for Republicans in Presidentials; it could even by 2020, but I bet the electorate changes more slowly than that.

  7. I figured the large influx of blacks from New Orleans into Houston after Katrina as well as Blacks moving to Texas to seek better jobs (or any jobs at all). I mean, where did Illinois blacks go? Their population % actually decreased there.

  8. Anyone notice how off the Census estimates where for Houston and Dallas, in particular?  If I remember the numbers correctly, they overestimated Houston proper by about 150,000 and Dallas by about 100,000.  In fact, the rate of growth for Houston was less than half of what was predicted for the 2000-2009 estimate period.

  9. Damn, I’m from Texas, but I definitely have not committed the districts to memory. So looking over these tables, I can only guess for half of them, if they are Deep East Texas Pineywoods or suburban Metroplex or the High Plains or what. (Can’t we, uh, not me — I lack all such skillz — but you, somebody, please!) imbed a map of districts to help make better sense of all this excellent analysis?

  10. Interesting dialogue.  Great insights, as far as Texas Hispanics being more conservative than in other areas.  In the big cities in the Northeast, the Irish, Italians and other immigrant groups were Catholic and voted Democratic, but their children and grandchildren moved out to the suburbs and became Republicans, a lot of the time.  Certainly Hispanics, who are also Catholic, would also seem to take the same path.

    After the 2008 election, the obituaries were being written for the GOP, and after only 2 years, it all turned around,  (Of course, after 2004, the obituaries were being written for the Democrats.)  This time in history reminds me a lot of the late 1940’s and early 1950′, when the House and Senate flipped fairly often.  

    The Democrats (and I am one), we can’t just wait for the Republicans to screw up and hope the voters come back to them.  I can easily foresee the House and Senate flipping a few more times over the next few election cycles.  Ultimately, what we all want is leadership, and I really don’t see either side doing such a great job.  They just sit and wait for the other party to mess up.                    

    I do know that people (especially independent voters) will ultimately vote for someone who works hard and basically tries to do a decent job, regardless of party affiliation.  Texas Dems have to offer an alternative, they can’t just sit and wait for more babies to come along.  

  11. a lot closer than we think. Obama will probably not win TX in 2012, but just as Kerry softened up CO in 2004 for a win in 2008, Obama will really soften up TX in 2012 for a DEM win in 2016 and beyond.

    When the hispanic portion of the population goes over 42%, then with 12% black and 4% asian – then this state becomes a blue state.

    Let’s assume among voters in 2016 that the breakdown would be so:

    White: 51% (44% of state population)

    Hispanic: 36% (42% of state population)

    Black: 9% (12% of state population)

    Asian: 3% (4.5% of state population)

    other: 1% (including american indian)

    If the DEM presidential candidate nails 70% of the non-white vote, then that is 34.3%. This means that in order to get over 50% overall, the DEM candidate needs only 30.9% of the white vote to get there. Obama already got 31% of the white vote in 2008.

    Obama lost TX in 2008 by 11.76%. Alone, the increase in the hispanic population since then, if it will be reflected in registered voters who get out there and vote, will reduce that margin to as little as 4%. Mark my words, TX becomes one of the next swing states in the Union. Not in 2012, but in 2016 and beyond.

  12. here goes.  There has been alot of talk about long term trends not only on this thread but others here.

    I can remember as a teenager when the 18 year olds got the right to vote.  The young people back then were so liberal and democratic because of cultural issues / Vietnam war.  Plus the older folks were still clinging to their New Deal ties to the democratic party. Plus the AA voters were just now registering in significant numbers in the South and hispanics were starting to appear in some states.  So in the early 1970’s political sciences were predicting a multi generational boom for the democrat party.  After the 1974 elections people spectulated as to whether the GOP party might go the way of the whigs.  

    That generation of college kids from 1964 to 1974 had to been the most liberal until say perhaps the 2008 18-21 bloc.

    So how did that 40 year projection work out in 1971?  I guess we  had the most conservative period of Presidents (1981 to 2009) since before TR plus more people identify themselves as republicans now.  If I recall correctly it was +10D in 1971.

    So I get a little leery when I read about people projecting long term political trends.  

  13. In 2000, it was 52% white and 32% Hispanic, a 20 point spread. In 2010, it was 45% White and 37% Hispanic, an 8 point spread. If current trends continue, we should see a Hispanic pluarity in Texas.  

  14. West Texas continues to loose population. A breakdown of the numbers in the last census showed that a good majority of counties in West Texas would have lost population if it hadn’t been for the Hispanic growth.


    Steve Murdock, former State Demographer and Census Director, was predicting the Hispanic growth since about the last census.



    For number nuts we have a great numbers office with the Texas State Data Center and Office of the State Demographer.


    The 2000-2007 Scenario for population projections was just about on point with the actual numbers.


    in 2008, the population projection from the State Demographer’s office for 2010 was 11,441,595 Anglos and 9,847,852 for Hispanics.  In addition, 2,925,751 for Blacks and 1,158,749 for Asians.

  15. To hold at 20% from 2004 to 2008, when you had a huge jump in African-American turnout, is pretty good. And to have the share go up in 2010, over a good Dem year in 2006, is also not bad.  

    But yeah, it’s still low share compared to the share of the general population, and will continue to be lower since a much higher share of the Latino population is under 18 compared to the non-Latino White and African-American populations.  

  16. I suspect a lot of the reason that Democrats have a higher floor (if around 25 percent of the white vote is in fact a floor) because of the more cosmopolitan urban areas. I also suspect that they have a bit of room to grow from where they are now. Perhaps it’s not enough to bring them over 50 percent statewide, but if Houston, Dallas, Austin, and the other big cities are attracting a lot of yuppie-like transplants or breeding them on their own, how long before the Democrats scoop them up? If it can happen in Atlanta or Charlotte, why not any of the big cities in Texas?

  17. Interestingly, user b.j. recently linked to a Texas Observer article that also suggested 2024 would be the tipping point year. I think that sounds about right.  

  18. The Hispanic percentage of the electorate jumped from 15% (in ’06) to 17%, while Republicans won two very Hispanic districts, TX-23 and TX-27. If we assume Hispanics participate at the same rate statewide (that turnout isn’t lower in the Valley than in Houston, for example), and compare that 17% figure to the 38% of the population that the Census says is Hispanic, then Hispanics were 45% of the voters in TX-23 and 52% in TX-27.

    My point in all this is, Texas Hispanics are more conservative people than Hispanics in California, New York, or anyplace other than South Florida, really. As Hispanics start to participate at higher levels, Texas will move towards the Democrats, but not as much or as quickly as some people are suggesting. Whether it’s leftover good will for George Bush, or the generally conservative climate of the state, Hispanics in Texas do not at this point vote reflexively Democratic. Dems cannot sit on their hands and watch Texas magically slide into their column as the non-white percentage goes up–they need to actively court these new voters, just as they court white voters in suburbs elsewhere.

  19. It’s often overlooked, but anyone who has spoken of the demographic trends that should favor the Democrats has said as much.

    Anyway, while I wouldn’t doubt that some Texas Hispanics are more conservative than California Hispanics, do you (a) think it’s more a matter of statistics than anything else and (b) think that will last if it’s not? As far as (a) is concerned, Republicans in Texas have obviously had a lot more luck than Democrats in the last two decades, and they can also read demographic trends, so they have been making overtures to capture such voters. In other words, is it more that Texas Hispanics are more conservative than California Hispanics, or more than the moderate and liberal Hispanics that might support Democrats aren’t showing up? If five percent of the 2 million Hispanics who can vote but who aren’t registered showed up to vote for Obama in 2008,  that would push his total to more than 69 percent instead of the 63 percent it was. It could easily be some of both, of course.

  20. You’re talking about white Texans willing to vote for a Massachusetts liberal followed by a liberal black guy from Chicago with a “funny” name that even includes Hussein!  Whatever percentage of white Texans choose to vote for those guys against credible Republican opponents, will vote Democratic every time.

    The nonwhite vote in Texas went 75-25 for Obama, the exact reverse.

    If the 3-to-1 break holds both ways, that means a 50-50 electorate, i.e., half white and half nonwhite, is required to make Texas a tossup.  With white vote share in Presidentials right now roughly census+20, but presumably likely to drop as noncitizen Hispanics are succeeded by children who are citizens and eligible to vote, my guess is that the white population share has to drop at least 10 points and closer to 15 before we get close to a 50-50 electorate.  That’s at least another decade, thus I look at 2024 as a tipping point.

  21. The areas most rapidly turning blue in Texas are the cities, and even the conservative suburbs are softening as well.  Obama improved upon Kerry by over 20% in some of those red suburban districts.  And as for the urban ones in central Houston, Dallas, and San Antonio, we’re starting to max our numbers, running up the totals.  Of course, a good amount of this change was Bush no longer being president, but it is still encouraging to see the same patterns happening in Texas that have happened in other states with large cities.

  22. I remember a thread/diary on Alabama and Mississippi a few weeks ago on how the black populations there were increasing at a higher rate than the white populations were. Some of this could be attributed to refugees from Louisiana, where the black population dropped after the hurricane.

  23. I’ve never been to Texas so I don’t know the situation there at all. I actually asked a Hispanic (Republican) friend of mine who has lived in both Texas and California about this phenomenon, and while she doesn’t claim to be an expert on any of this, this is what she came up with:

    1. Culture: South Texas is culturally a more conservative place than California, and immigrants tend to adapt to existing cultures to a degree.

    1a. Religion: The majority of Hispanics are religious people, and religion plays a far greater role in both daily political life in Texas than in California. This drives some economically moderate-to-liberal people to vote R.

    2. Backing Winners: People who are new to politics like to align themselves with winners, which are the Republicans in Texas and the Democrats in California. New citizens feel they can most directly participate in the political process by identifying with the dominant party.

    3. Outreach: Under both Bush and Perry, the Texas GOP has done very well with Hispanic outreach, something that has not happened in California. The lack of a SB 1070-type law or an immigration craze among white Republicans has made center and center-right Hispanics feel more comfortable with the GOP in Texas than in CA or AZ (where she thinks the Hispanic vote will be Democratic for a generation, if not more.)

    I don’t know how accurate this is, or whether it is a viable long-term strategy, but I appreciated her insight and thought it would be worth sharing here.

  24. Anyway, while I wouldn’t doubt that some Texas Hispanics are more conservative than California Hispanics, do you (a) think it’s more a matter of statistics than anything else and (b) think that will last if it’s not?

    Having lived in both CA and TX, I can come up with a couple of reasons why Texas Hispanics tend to be conservative. One, generally Democrats have not spent the kind of money that they once spent to make CA solidly blue.  Bill White and Tony Sanchez did, but there has not been persistent spending.  Two, the Texas GOP hasn’t had a Prop 187 disaster yet.  In fact, I vaguely recall CA Hispanics voting similarly to TX Hispanics prior to 187.

    I actually suspect both of these might change soon.  Debbie Riddle’s immigration bill, while very different from Prop 187, smells like 187 and could easily create the same alignments.  Once the Democrats have a real chance to win Texas, then the money will come.  Texas is also having a huge budget debacle as we speek, and Perry is acting pretty aloof about it.  If Democrats can place the blame at his feet, then the general population, not just Hispanics, might turn faster.

  25. The differences between Texas and California are huge, and that applies to the Latino populations of both states as well.

    One might think that Texas would at least have more in common with Arizona politically, rather than California, but the differences between those two states are large as well.  As you mention, the AZ GOP has basically no outreach to the Hispanic community.  Whereas the TX GOP has long understood the necessity of that.  And it shows…Texas actually elects Latino Republicans, whereas in Arizona I doubt a Latino could even win a Republican primary.

    Texas Republicans are extremely conservative, but most of them do seem able to talk about immigration and race sensibly, unlike some of their counterparts in other states…Arizona especially.

    I wonder why that is.  Just seems like Texas doesn’t seem as scared of Latinos as Arizona does.

  26. It’s interesting to think about what might the bigger factor if you compare the Hispanic vote in Texas to, say, that in Colorado, which is still friendly turf to Republicans even as it becomes easier for Democrats.  

  27. That sounds about right to me, and I posted 3 below.  However, if I recall correctly, Mexican American men were voting around 50-50 prior to 187 in CA.  So, if Debbie Riddle gets her way, then TX Hispanics could switch pretty quickly like they did in CA.

  28. Notice the huge shifts in Democratic performance in TX-03 which changed from 30-70 Kerry-Bush to 42-57 Obama-McCain, TX-07 which went from 31-69 to 41-58, TX-10 which went from 34-67 to 44-55, TX-21 which went from 31-69 to 41-58, and TX-24 which went from 32-68 to 44-55.  Those are all massive swings.  And all suburban GOP districts.

  29. 2010: Bill White won Hispanics 61-38, Barbara Boxer 65-29, Jerry Brown 64-31. The national share was 60-38 Democratic.

    2008: Obama won Hispanics in TX 63-35 and 74-23 in CA. His national share was 67-31.

    Seems to me California is the abnormality not Texas. In the latter I still say the bigger problem is whites voting heavily Republican and low Hispanic turnout rather than share. Remember, we are not talking about winning TX by double-digits like CA but the state just becoming competitive.  

  30. I might add that the GOP seems eager to promote hispanic candidates at the statewide level.  Look at NM, NV and FL this year.  

    In CO a hispanic US senator resigned and was replaced by a white male US senator.  Do hispanic voters notice this? I think so.  

    I expect that we will continue to see republicans advance hispanic candidates in the SW-think AZ-CA-TX.

  31. Like I said above, if Obama had received 100,000 more Hispanic votes in 2008, and everything else stayed the same, his portion of the Hispanic vote would have increased to over 69 percent. That’s not a small figure, of course, but it’s about five percent of the Hispanic voters that aren’t registered and aren’t showing up right now and a tiny one and a quarter percent increase from the actual voting pool.

    You’re right, though, that California might be on the opposite end of the extreme. The more interesting example is a state like Colorado, where Obama won 61 percent of the vote compared to McCain’s 39 percent. Was there some sort of lingering good will towards McCain based on his previous work for immigration reform? Are Colorado Republicans also being smart about outreach? I’ll be curious to see what the results in 2012 look like.  

  32. I’ll confess that I don’t know how accurate this is, but I found it from links on the Prop 187 wikipedia page.

    From http://www.calnews.com/archive

    Thirdly, the enthusiastic support of Proposition 187, a highly dubious effort fueled by rabid anti-Mexicans, of the state Republican Party drove away hundreds of thousands of Mexican Americans, including many who had climbed into the state’s middle-class. Professor Bruce Cain of UC Berkeley reports that Mexican American men were reregistering Republican at a 50% rate before Proposition 187. That ended with Proposition 187.

    This is what I recall too living in CA at the time.  CA Hispanics weren’t always this Democratic.   Prop 187 changed that.  Now living in Texas, the environment around Riddle’s bill in Texas (think SD 1070) and to a lesser extent the stuff in Farmers Branch seems similar to me.  

  33. Right now the budget debate is consuming nearly all of the oxygen. (There’s also a sonogram bill that is getting a slice of attention.)  While I don’t know when the budget will be resolved (and here “resolved” is being used very loosely), I suspect they will get to immigration and voter ID.

    For those who don’t know what Debbie Riddle’s bill is, it is essentially Texas’s version of SB 1070.

  34. Texas Republicans are extremely conservative, but most of them do seem able to talk about immigration and race sensibly, unlike some of their counterparts in other states…Arizona especially.

    That was certainly true a few years ago when Bush was head of the party.  However, it’s changed a lot in the last few years.  Once upon a time, Rick Noriega got a Texas version of the DREAM Act to pass with overwhelming bipartisan support.  Now, KBH, who is seen as a moderate won’t vote for the federal version.  The Texas GOP is being pushed by folks like Dan Patrick and Debbie Riddle who are very anti-immigrant.  Riddle camped out to file a SD 1070 type bill and a voter ID bill, both of which have good chances of passing.

  35. …in a statewide race in over a decade.  At least, I’m pretty sure that’s true, that Obama’s 44% is our total it(not white) vote share ceiling this century there.

    White Texans have been locked in with virtually no elasticity.  I would therefore proceed with the assumption it will stay that way until an actual election proves otherwise.

  36. Looks pretty accurate to me. In 1993/4 I was a Political Science a major at a large Cal State campus. California was definitely purple at the time. Pete Wilson who was Governor at the time, blew up his Senate bid against Dianne Feinstein with what was supposed to be his signature issue. The proposition only served to enrage and activate a significant chunk of the population.

    Word to the wise: Most of the central valley of California has over age 65 populations that are over 70% white and school age populations (>18)that are over 70% hispanic!  

  37. You have Latino’s share of the vote boosting up to 36%, they were only 20% in 2008. It’s probably not going to rise that high in eight years.

    I agree with DCCyclone up above – 2024 seems like a more realistic date.  

  38. That said, our ceiling is probably pretty low, but since Obama didn’t really contest the state in 2008, it’s hard to say how low. I wonder how much improvement there would be simply by taking the state as seriously as, say, Wisconsin, let alone Ohio or Virginia. It would take an absolute implosion to reach 50 percent of the white vote, but maybe 35 percent?  

  39. You have Latino share jumping to 35% in 2016 from only 20% in 2008. That seems like too big of jump. I think DCCyclone is more accurate when he says 2024.  

  40. the country is becoming less white in all of the right places–big states with lots of congressional seats and Electoral votes. In many of such places, the white people seem to be trending Democratic, at best, or at worst, not remaining very loyal to Republicans. And in some places, the Republicans are doing their best to shove the non-white voters firmly over to the Democrats. We have to campaign and mobilize such voters as well as nominate good candidates, but we’re getting an increasingly rich template to work with.

    Put it this way: there’s a reason that the politically smart Republicans are trying to make a big play for non-white voters. They know that if they don’t, their chances of remaining a viable party are pretty damn limited.  

  41. It’s definitely true, in my opinion, that the demographics -> Republican Party is doomed! meme is overplayed.

    On the other hand, I wouldn’t say that we’re living in an era of Republican dominance. Republicans have lost the popular vote in four out of the past five presidential elections.

    I know I’m picking and choosing my numbers. But you can’t say it’s a Republican era with those numbers.

  42. sadly, you’re right about the way things are going in Texas.  Oh, the irony of longing for the days when the GOP listened to Bush…

  43. The black population saw 0.0% change between 2000 and 2010. Dropped after Katrina, but has had the same amount of influx since.  

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