White House wonders: Is Texas in play next year?

posted at 6:56 pm on May 11, 2011 by Allahpundit

If you’re wondering why yesterday’s amnesty pander was held in El Paso instead of, say, Arizona, wonder no longer. Rest assured, this is a crazy idea but more so because of the vagaries of the next election than in the abstract. Last year, according to Gallup, Obama’s approval rating in Texas was 44.8 percent, just two points lower than the national average. At the height of Bush fatigue and Hopenchange fever in 2008, self-identified Democrats actually outnumbered Republicans; a year later, during his honeymoon period, Obama’s approval was above the water line at 51.9 percent. In fact, in a PPP poll of the state taken in January, Obama was crushed by Huckabee in a hypothetical head to head but finished seven points behind Romney and just five points behind Gingrich. In theory, if Latino voters broke overwhelmingly for him and turned out in droves, the state would be in play.

But then, that’s also what they thought in 2008, isn’t it?

The state’s population is about 35 percent Hispanic, almost identical to California’s proportion. The voting-age population in Texas is growing faster than almost anywhere else in the U.S. — with an estimated 1.2 million eligible minority voters, most of them Spanish speakers, added to the state’s population between 2008 and 2012, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.

Those trends have been emerging for a decade, but Democrats have, by and large, been unable to capitalize on them, owing to the state’s geography and abysmal voter registration and turnout patterns among Latinos…

Sixty-three percent of Latino voters in Texas backed Obama in 2008, a solid but unspectacular showing that he must improve upon for any chance in the state. Moreover, Latino turnout in Texas lagged behind rates in neighboring states and was only half the rate among white Texans, who backed McCain 3 to 1…

[Karl] Rove doesn’t deny that times are changing fast — since 2002, 80 percent of newly eligible Texas voters have been minorities, most of them Latino. But he points to gains that Hispanic Republicans made last year in state legislative and judicial races — the number of Hispanic Republicans in the Texas House jumped from zero to five — and a series of perceived insults Obama has served the state: a refusal to issue disaster declarations for recent wildfires and droughts, health care reform and the decision to deprive Houston of a decommissioned space shuttle as a tourist destination.

“I hope they do spend all of their money and time on Texas so they can divert it from Ohio, Nevada, Pennsylvania, Florida, New Mexico and Michigan,” said Rove.

So why is this a fantasy? Because, realistically, the next campaign will be tight enough in terms of electoral votes and fundraising that The One won’t have the time or money to spend on a longshot like Texas. It’ll cost him $25 million at least to compete there, which isn’t a huge number given the size of his war chest but will seem unjustifiable if the GOP nominee is threatening in must-have states like Pennsylvania or Ohio. The only reason he’d dump cash like that into Texas is if he had a considerable fundraising advantage and could afford to burn some money in hopes of scaring Republicans into depleting their own smaller treasury to defend the state. And even in that case, isn’t the money better spent in … Pennsylvania and Ohio? If he’s seriously competing for Texas next year, it can mean only one of two things. Either the economy’s come roaring back and his reelection is all but assured, in which case Democrats might use the opportunity to reach out to states otherwise deemed unwinnable in hopes of encouraging voters (specifically, Latino voters) there in 2016. Or the economy’s stalled and his approval rating has cratered, in which case he’ll be desperate and looking for a huge cache of electoral votes to offset the swing states he’s going to lose. The latter seems more probable than the former, in which case, how probably is it that the state that would deliver him from defeat would be Texas? As I say, a crazy idea.

For your listening pleasure, here’s Rick Perry hammering The One on immigration today on Laura Ingraham’s show. As for whether Texas is in play come 2016, that seems likelier. Save us, Marco Rubio, you’re our only hope!


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Comment pages: 1 2

I don’t know how anyone can vote for this POS after what he said in his little speech the other day. Every place I go the comments are so against this man, even Yahoo and GLP, not such conservative sights. But then, who is going to be the Republican front runner? We can’t do another McCain, or the new brother by another mother, Mitch Daniels.

nwpammy on May 11, 2011 at 11:07 PM

Zero is counting on Holder to jack up the new voter ID law and redistricting. Count it. It still won’t deliver Texas, but you can be sure Holder is part of his strategery. I have lived in Texas all my life, and Holder is a foregone conclusion here. We are all watching our excellent AG to see how he handles things with Holder’s DOJ.

stvnscott on May 11, 2011 at 10:48 PM

Greg Abbott is pretty sharp, and I think he’ll do a good job of fending off Holder.

Ward Cleaver on May 11, 2011 at 11:15 PM

I don’t know how anyone can vote for this POS after what he said in his little speech the other day. Every place I go the comments are so against this man, even Yahoo and GLP, not such conservative sights. But then, who is going to be the Republican front runner? We can’t do another McCain, or the new brother by another mother, Mitch Daniels.

nwpammy on May 11, 2011 at 11:07 PM

I fear another conservative split like in 2008, and another RINO getting the nomination.

Ward Cleaver on May 11, 2011 at 11:17 PM

After giving Texans the proverbial shaft over those wildfires, I’d be amazed if takes that state.

JetBoy on May 11, 2011 at 7:00 PM

Today he announced to help Mexico with their fires, no kidding.

Schadenfreude on May 11, 2011 at 11:20 PM

Just mentioning his name gets people riled up in this state … and not in a good way.

Oh, and you better not admit you voted for him or you’ll be ridiculed.

redridinghood on May 11, 2011 at 11:25 PM

Our legislators aren’t letting Barry forget how he shafted us:
http://blog.chron.com/txpotomac/2011/05/republicans-to-obama-stop-punishing-texas-for-voting-against-you/

mizflame98 on May 11, 2011 at 11:30 PM

I don’t know how anyone can vote for this POS after what he said in his little speech the other day. nwpammy on May 11, 2011 at 11:07 PM

Frankly, I think Perry should call his bluff and push for legislation to build a moat with alligators. I’d bet it’d pass and we have a sh*tload of gators to fill it with.

Erich66 on May 11, 2011 at 11:56 PM

Not next year, but ten or fifteen years from now when all those anchor babies are voting age… maybe. Plus more and more idiot liberals are fleeing their socialist paradises and infesting red states.
Don’t let your guard down Texas. Take it from a guy stuck in CA.

Grayson on May 12, 2011 at 12:07 AM

Texans go for Obama????

That tears it.

Not while there’s a breath left in our bodies.
Austin and Dallas are not Texas. They can vote for the Terminator in Chief all they want. It won’t make one bit of difference. The One smells a lot like number two in this state.

gordo on May 12, 2011 at 12:09 AM

Plus more and more idiot liberals are fleeing their socialist paradises and infesting red states.
Don’t let your guard down Texas. Take it from a guy stuck in CA.

Grayson on May 12, 2011 at 12:07 AM

Anytime I come in contact with a blue state transplant. I make a point of telling them ever so sweetly,
“the Democrats ruined your state so pleeeease don’t ruin ours by voting Democrat,OK? … welcome to the great state of TEXAS.”

redridinghood on May 12, 2011 at 12:36 AM

I think the biggest waste of time in the 2012 election will be DISCUSSIONS about how much money Obama has to spend!

This next election will be about how much money the PEOPLE have to spend, NOT the candidates!

Freddy on May 12, 2011 at 1:57 AM

I don’t care what anybody says. I live in Texas and I know Texas. There is no way, no day, no how that Texas will vote Democratic next year.

They are chasing a pipe dream. Seriously.

Theophile on May 12, 2011 at 4:27 AM

While Obama continues to crow about killing Bin Laden why are the GOP not hammering him on the national security risk of an unsecured southern border which has seen- according to Border agents- a massive influx of Middle Easterners sneaking into America?

Shouldn’t the GOP in Congress be investigating this to see just how effective border security is right now ten years after 9/11?

Shouldn’t they be talking about the “jobs Americans won’t do” when unemployment is so high and so many people are hurting? Does the GOP think that pointing out that illegals taking jobs that Americans could be doing is a bad election strategy?

Security & jobs- right now vital interests to the good of America, and shortly a key election campaign issue. Sometimes you have to wonder if the GOP leadership is more concerned about protecting America & winning the next election…or holding onto that “Stupid Party” nickname.

Jay Mac on May 12, 2011 at 4:37 AM

Not if alt has anything to say about it…

Gohawgs on May 12, 2011 at 6:04 AM

He has a snowball’s chance in a Texas summer…

Also, the Texas Senate just completed their redistricting yesterday. I have not had a chance to review it yet, but you can bet that some of the democrat gerrymandered districts will disappear now. I certainly hope that is the case for my US Representative…Queen Sheila…I hope we’re finally rid of her…

golfer1 on May 12, 2011 at 7:12 AM

I am sure they are basing their optimism on his response to the wild fires down here, and how he responded immediately to HELP Texans out, after Texans asked for help SARC.

Dr Evil on May 12, 2011 at 8:14 AM

He doesn’t have a prayer in he11 down here. He could make a good showing if he lowered unemployment rates among Hispanics and Blacks. But he hasn’t in fact he was down in El Paso, talking about how secure the border is while illegal aliens take the jobs that the American working poor compete for.

New construction is the usual indicator leading us out of a recession we overbuilt. We have had a high foreclosure rate across the country. When are those construction jobs going to see a comeback in Texas? Hint not by November 2012. There is no money in the kitty to bribe states with stimulus money to create shovel ready projects. Because there aren’t any shovel ready projects. That is why they keep pushing high speed rail – it’s the boon doggle that was supposed to hold them over and increase employment prior to November 2012. They call it investment but it’s just more spending that leads to more taxing. The Democrats have left a bad taste in everyone’s mouth (2010 Mid Term Elections) and unfortunately for Obama he is their poster child.

Dr Evil on May 12, 2011 at 8:24 AM

White House wonders: Is Texas in play next year?

And all the little Oysters stood
And waited in a row.

“The time has come,” the Walrus said,
“To talk of many things:
Of shoes–and ships–and sealing-wax–
Of cabbages–and kings–
And why the sea is boiling hot–
And whether pigs have wings.”
The Walrus and The Carpenter

petefrt on May 12, 2011 at 8:34 AM

I believe that cowboy hat pic was from the 2008 campaign. Man, has Obama aged in the last two years. Just sayin’…

Fallon on May 12, 2011 at 9:35 AM

Obama is “joping” to bring Mejico into Tejas.

But Texas has one of the lowest unemployment rates in the nation, thanks mostly to Gov. Rick Perry’s efforts to minimize intervention by the Federal Government, and Obama’s repeatedly demonizing the oil industry won’t win him any votes in Southeast Texas.

But if Texas is really in play for Democrats, they might even elect a Republican Governor in Michigan or Wisconsin. Oh, wait a minute…

Steve Z on May 12, 2011 at 9:59 AM

Obama will win Texas as soon as Kansas elects Bernie Sanders Governor.

KSgop on May 11, 2011 at 7:15 PM

Well, they did elect Kathleen Sebelius, who’s doing more damage in DC.

Steve Z on May 12, 2011 at 10:02 AM

believe that cowboy hat pic was from the 2008 campaign. Man, has Obama aged in the last two years. Just sayin’…

Fallon on May 12, 2011 at 9:35 AM

Reminds me of Dingy Harry’s poetry festival or Brokeback Mountain…

Steve Z on May 12, 2011 at 10:04 AM

the moat.

redridinghood on May 12, 2011 at 10:21 AM

The Divider in Chief is doing what he does best…agitate and divide.

We Texans have had enough of democRATs. There is no chance 0′Dumbo will win Texas…even with a Washington DC RINO as the top of GOP ticket.

Texas – What America used to be

Bleed_thelizard on May 12, 2011 at 10:21 AM

I’m really offended by that picture of Obama in a hat.
As a cowboy/rancher’s wife, Allah, I protest the use of that photo.
I think it is the only one that really pi$$e$ me off to the point I see red.

Badger40 on May 12, 2011 at 11:49 AM

Love the hat, where’s the tank and aviator glasses?

Don L on May 12, 2011 at 12:21 PM

That photo of obama wearing the cowboy hat reminded me of the movie “blazing saddles”

LODGE4 on May 12, 2011 at 12:46 PM

If we have to defend Texas in any significant way, Obama wins.

Reagan Republican on May 12, 2011 at 3:04 PM

If we have to defend Texas in any significant way, Obama wins.

Reagan Republican on May 12, 2011 at 3:04 PM

Obama may still win, but we will not have to defend Texas.

This is nothing but a shallow attempt to get rich Austin libs to pony up some dough for The Won. It’s so ridiculous a notion that even speculation about it is silly.

Missy on May 12, 2011 at 3:21 PM

Please don’t ever let me see the Obamanation in a cowboy hat again! What an insult to cowboys everywhere.

SgtRed on May 12, 2011 at 5:51 PM

There are so many Texans that are absolutely disgusted with Rick Perry. He has rejected any semblance of an AZ immigration bill. Everyone down here knows that he’s in the back pocket of the US Chamber and others who want to keep the flow of cheap illegal labor uninterrupted. As a result many Texans will stay at home on election day just as a protest against him. I think they’re misguided for doing it but they’ll do it just the same. Not me. I vote straight GOP ticket. DD

Darvin Dowdy on May 13, 2011 at 7:14 AM

There may be a lot of imported moonbats in Texas now, but we haven’t changed the star on our flag to a crescent moon just yet, oh grand poobah!

Lone Star on May 13, 2011 at 8:00 AM

One word: HAH!!!

coppertop on May 13, 2011 at 11:24 AM

Comment pages: 1 2