Keep an Eye on the Hispanic Vote in Texas...
There is something very interesting happening in the Texas race for governor.
AG Abbott, the GOP candidate for governor, has decided to ask Hispanics for their votes, according to a new story in The Washington Post.
As long as anyone can remember, the South Texas counties that make up the Rio Grande Valley have been two things: Hispanic and blue-as-the-big-sky Democrat. In Hidalgo County, along the Rio Grande, the locals say a Republican hasn’t won a countywide office in recent memory. Even though Republican governors have led Texas for two decades, their best showing among Hispanic voters was in 1998 with George W. Bush, who didn’t even win half.
But this year, Republican nominee Greg Abbott, the state’s attorney general, has set out to break Bush’s record by making the rapidly growing Hispanic vote — and the Rio Grande Valley — central to his campaign. The day after Abbott announced his candidacy in San Antonio, he was in McAllen, on the Mexican border. He has visited the area 14 times during the campaign, most recently for his first debate with the Democratic candidate, state Sen. Wendy Davis.
He has also aired six Spanish-language TV ads, including one featuring his Latina mother-in-law that premiered during the Mexico-Brazil World Cup match in June. (“His values are our values. Faith, family and honesty,” his sister-in-law Rosie Phalen says in the ad.)
This is interesting and maybe a great lesson for GOP candidates in Hispanic and perhaps African-American districts.
First, AG Abbott's campaign did not assume that Democrats automatically vote Hispanic. They may have voted that way in the past, but the Abbott campaign doesn't want to overlook them in an election year full of Hispanic disenchantment with the Obama administration. The Abbott team has correctly concluded that there are some Hispanics in Texas who may want to send Democrats a message!
Second, all this talk about demographics assumes that Hispanics are not "results-oriented," or that they will vote Democrat no matter how many times the party takes them for granted. It also assumes that Hispanics care only about immigration and have zero concerns for job creation, education reforms, or abortion.
We will know on election day. However, I like what AG Abbott is doing. He did not get the memo that Hispanics will automatically vote Democrat.
He plans to get a lot of their votes this year, and I think that he will!