This is not 'my papi's party'

Down in South Texas, they tell me that the Democrats are having an identity problem.  Let's hear from one Democrat named Ruben Ramirez, a lawyer and self-proclaimed moderate.  This is what he told the Texas Tribune:

On the campaign trail, Ramirez emphasizes that he is a "South Texas Democrat," not a "New York Democrat" or a "California Democrat." He talks about the dilemma that South Texas Democrats face when they tune in to CNN, for example, and see a Democratic representative calling for "open borders" and a Republican representative calling for "law and order."

"The Democrats sitting at home in South Texas, they're saying, 'I believe what the Republican just said. Am I Republican?'" Ramirez said. He added that tries to speak to those voters -- "not at them" -- and say that it is "OK to have a few of those conservative ideals, like wanting to make sure you secure the border but doing so in a way that's consistent with our values."

I think that they call that a message problem.  Indeed it is.  The Democrats who have been voting Democrat forever in South Texas are looking at each other and paraphrasing the car commercial about "this is not my papi's party."

Turnout was another plus for the GOP in South Texas:

Republicans more than doubled their primary turnout in the four counties — Cameron, Hidalgo, Starr and Willacy — that make up the Rio Grande Valley from 2018 to 2022, while Democratic primary turnout was virtually the same. Democrats outvoted Republicans there by a wide margin Tuesday — about 35,000 ballots — but that deficit narrowed from roughly 49,000 in the last midterm.

What does a new political landscape mean?  Voters decide elections.  The Democrats can no longer take South Texas for granted and do most of their work in Dallas or Houston or San Antonio or El Paso.  The party will now have to spend money defending "safe" seats on the border suddenly in danger of flipping.  They can't take those "mejicanos" for granted anymore.

Last, but not least, it does not help that President Biden is very unpopular or that Beto O'Rourke said something about taking your guns.  You may be surprised to hear that people in South Texas like order on the border and their guns.

PS: Click for my videos and podcasts at Canto Talk.

Image: Mike Rastiello.

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