Texas demographics today are strikingly similar to those of California in 1990, before Democrats began their seven to nothing streak of Golden State victories in presidential races. Like California in 1990, the Texas population currently hovers around 29 million and is changing rapidly in light of heavy immigration from Mexico. The second generation children of Mexican immigrants have played a major role in keeping California out of Republican reach. This same transformation is taking root in Texas.
Immigration has already had a very tangible impact on Texas politics. While illegal immigrants cannot vote, their children born in the United States are indeed citizens and make up a significant share of the new generation of voters in the southern state. There are around 35 percent of Texans under the age of 18 who are the children of immigrants, a figure that has nearly doubled in the last 30 years. This carries weight.
Young Texas voters overwhelmingly turned out for Beto O’Rourke over incumbent Ted Cruz in the Senate race last year. O’Rourke beat Cruz with 18 year olds to 24 year olds by a margin of 68 percent to 32 percent and with 25 year olds to 29 year olds by a margin of 73 percent to 26 percent. O’Rourke also outperformed the traditional edge Democrats already have among Texas Latino voters by a wide margin of 64 percent to 35 percent.