Saturday, July 28, 2012

Democrats, here's your chance

There are a number of demographic changes happening in Texas today, and although this source uses data from earlier on in the decade, the numbers shown illustrate a changing political landscape in the state. One fact that most people are aware of, as it was widely publicized by network news, is that Texas recently became a majority-minority state in 2004, meaning that white Texan are outnumbered by the minority population. The states population is growing twice as fast as the national average, something that is expected to continue for the next 40 years as people flood into the expanding urban areas of the state. Hispanics occupy the fastest growing demographic slot in both the national and state-wide census, growing by 10.9 percent in Texas between 2000 and 2006 to settle in as 35.7 percent of the total state population in 2006. Here we have a rapidly expanding urban population, which constitutes a significant growth in the lower and middle class population, with a majority of the urban growth being made up of Hispanics. Texas is changing fast, and will continue to change well into the foreseeable future, and as this happens the Democratic presence in the state has an opportunity to make a very important political move. State Representatives Trey Fischer and Ana Luna, both Mexican-American Democrats, recently unveiled the One Texas political action committee, a PAC focussed on organizing Hispanic voters in Texas. This move is centered around the Hispanic population of Texas, and focuses on the population's visibility in the legislature and is also an attempt to rebut the Republican party's attempts at appealing to Texas Hispanics. Fischer and Hernandez understand what's going on; Hispanic voters in Texas are the fastest growing political force in the nation, and now is the time for political organization and mobilization to set this force in the right direction. However it doesn't need to stop with Hispanic voters. Gaining the Hispanic vote would give the Democratic party the soap-box it needs in Texas to preach to the low income, urban dwelling families that typically vote left, which in turn gives the party more sway in converting historically right voters in rural areas. This is the party's chance to take advantage of a historically red state with a rapidly changing demographic that gives them the edge, and if they approach the situation in the right way, we could be looking at a state that's more purple than anything within the next couple of decades. 

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