Texas Republican John Lujan
Contrary to the frequent Democratic suggestions that Texas is inevitably destined to become a blue state, the recent election victory for Republican candidate John Lujan in the state’s 118th House of Representatives district tells a very different story.
On Tuesday, Representative-elect Lujan defeated Democrat Frank Ramirez to reclaim the seat Lujan held during 2016. This victory for the Republican party indicates the Democrats’ belief that Hispanic voters are bound to vote blue may be nothing more than wishful thinking.
While this misguided belief in the coming blue tide could be explained as simply unchecked assumptions, it would appear that the hard data is also being ignored by Democrats as well.
During the 2016 presidential election, Hillary Clinton won Starr County by an astounding 60 points, leading Democratic strategists to believe this was evidence of having locked down the Hispanic voting block of South Texas. Only four years later, it would become clear that any celebrating was premature.
This trend failed to continue into the 2020 presidential election; however, while President Biden also secured a win in Starr County, it was only by five points. Both state and national Democratic leadership failed to acknowledge that the narrative that Texas was becoming blue, maybe even in 2020, was a story that simply didn’t align with the truth on the ground.
Democrats failing to acknowledge the truth on the ground is something discussed in an article in Texas Monthly. In South Texas, as in other places in the state and nation, a familiar problem emerges for Democratic party strategists, an overreliance on identity politics without truly understanding how particular groups self-identify
A look at the mayoral election in McAllen, a Texas border town in a county with more than 85% Hispanic voters, identifies a major failure of the Democrats’ understanding of Texas, Texans, and voters as a whole.
In 2021, McAllen, elected Republican Mayor Javier Villalobos. In an interview with Fox Business host Stuart Varney, Villalobos made sense of his win for the incredulous Varney by explaining that voters in his city, and Texas in general, were far more likely to vote based on issues important to them and their home, not specifically in ways dictated by their ethnic background.
Further, just because some Democratic strategists might have determined a group of voters to be Hispanic, many of these people identify as white and simply vote for candidates that provide the best vision for their community.
Jack is an avid traveler from the Garden State. Jack Knows how to effectively communicate complex political concepts to insure every reader has a firm grasp on the topic at hand.