A Democrat Political Action Group called ‘One Texas PAC’ has unveiled the strategy they hope to use to turn Texas from a reliably Republican state to a reliably Democratic one, 1200 WOAI news reports.
The strategy essentially involves getting Latino voters to the polls to cast votes equal to their growing Texas population.
“There are 2.15 million Latinos in Texas who are not registered to vote but are eligible,” said State Rep. Trey Martinez Fischer (D-San Antonio) who heads the Mexican American Legislative Council. “In addition, there are 1.32 million Latinos in Texas who are registered to vote, but are not voting.”
He says that is more than enough Democratic support to overcome the Republican edge, which in the 2010 statewide elections was about one million votes.
Dr. Julie Martinez Ortega, who is the pollster for the ‘Power PAC,’ these Latinos would be a reliable voting bloc.
“64% of President Obama’s votes in Texas (in 2012) were cast by voters of color, specifically by Latino voters,” she said.
It will not be an easy chore. Texas has been the most reliable one-party state in the nation in the last two decades. The last time a Democrat was elected to statewide office in Texas was when the late Bob Bullock was elected Lieutenant Governor in 1994, ironically, the same year George W. Bush was elected President.
Since then, the Democratic effort in Texas has been largely futile, with weak candidates, poor grass roots support, and a weak ‘bench’ of potential contenders for statewide office.
But Democrats say things are looking up. They say the emergence of popular, respected Democrats like State Sen. Wendy David (D-Ft. Worth) and San Antonio Mayor Julian Castro show that the party is building from the ground up, and is on the verge of presenting candidates who can win statewide office.
But Ortega says the key is Latino turnout, and she says the turnaround can be completed in just six counties, including Bexar County.
“Bexar actually holds the largest grouping of the Latino electorate in Texas,” she said. Harris County actually has a larger Hispanic population, but Hispanics in Bexar County are far more likely to be citizens.
She says a look at voter turnout shows that the strategy has legs.
“The statewide average for turnout is 56%,” she said. “But the turnout in these six counties averages as low as 32%.”