Texas abortion uproar: Could backlash turn Lone Star State blue? (+video)
Outrage is running high among Texas Democrats after the Republican-led Legislature pushed through a tough new abortion bill. While change is coming, a blue Texas is not imminent, it seems.
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The result is that, while a Latino plurality in Texas might not be far away, the political effects of that shift might lag significantly. The Daily Kos analysis concludes that, for Democrats, "Texas ought to be on the cusp of competitiveness by 2024."Skip to next paragraph
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Redistricting. Redistricting is the great political hammer in the hands of the political majority. In states that allow the Legislature to draw up the political maps every 10 years – as Texas does – the majority can solidify their hold on power by creating districts that tilt in their favor. Both parties do this, and for a time, redistricting can insulate a majority party somewhat from demographic changes.
Also in the special legislative session that saw abortion take center stage, Texas legislators passed new redistricting maps that Democrats say underrepresent Latinos. The main objective of the Republican majority "was to limit Latino voting strength," according to the office of US Rep. Pete Gallego (D) of Texas, as reported by politic365. "The right to vote is one of the fundamental pillars of our democracy. The process shouldn’t shut out entire communities."
Texas is still Texas. The fact is, at the end of the day, Texas voters are still some of the most reliably red voters in the nation. While change may be ahead, there is little sign that it has yet arrived – or even has begun to arrive. The last time Texas elected a Democrat to statewide office was 1994. Among the best performances by a Texas Democrat since then: Gubernatorial candidate Chris Bell lost to Gov. Rick Perry by 9 points in 2006, notes the Texas Tribune.
From there, it only gets worse.
Indeed, many have touted Senator Davis as a potential gubernatorial candidate in 2014. But she's been hesitant to declare any intentions, surely aware that any attempt to run for statewide office could mark an abrupt end to her political career.
For Democrats for now, it seems, politics in Texas remains a dead-end job.
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