Once upon a time, the GOP had a strong hold on the state of Texas. For 30 years, this is where the Republicans were able to rely on a stable supply of Conservative voters.
More recently, however, the Texas demographic has been changing, and with it, the state’s political leaning. According to the Washington Examiner, with the Asian American population on the rise, the state could be on the verge of a major shift.
The Asian American community is overall strongly left-leaning, with roughly 65% of them identifying as Democrats, and only 27% identifying as Republicans or right-leaning. Additionally, according to an exit poll from the 2016 Presidential election, only 26% of Asians in Texas voted for Donald Trump while 72% of them voted for Hillary Clinton. Looking at the American population as a whole, Asian Americans are a rapidly growing racial group, and politicians have begun to take notice.
In Texas specifically, the Asian population has grown by 49% from 2010 to 2018, with the Hispanic population being the second biggest increase at 20%. The White population, however, grew just 4% since 2010, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.
Aftab Siddiqui, co-chair of a Tarrant County Democratic Party group representing Asian Americans, told the Washington Examiner, “Texas is at a watershed moment but in politics it is all about turning out the vote. If we can do that, we can turn it blue, but it might still go back and forth.”
While President Trump continues to claim otherwise, saying at a recent rally in Dallas, “They said, Texas is in play… And I came here, we had rallies like this. Thousands of people outside that couldn’t get in,” Republican strategists are aware of the difficulties ahead of the 2020 presidential elections.
“The name of the game used to be, ‘win the primary and you are in as a Republican,’” one consultant explained, “The game has changed.”
In 2012, Mitt Romney was able to win Texas by 16 points, Trump won by nine points. But in the last year’s senate race, Ted Cruz won by just three points. Recent polls reflect an even more unstable position for the GOP, with Trump lagging three points behind Joe Biden, according to Real Clear Politics.
This increase in Asian American and Democratic voters could be explained by the state’s ability to attract businesses from other states that are often more diverse and left-leaning. The Dallas Business Journal stated that 1800 companies left California in 2016 alone, with 299 of these businesses reportedly settling in Texas.
With the strong anti-immigration stance of the Trump 2020 campaign, it’s unlikely this message would resonate with the increasingly racially diverse communities in Texas. Doug Deason, Texas co-chair of the Trump Victory Committee, admitted that the president’s message on immigration may need tweaking to appeal to the changing demographics.
“I never agree with anyone a hundred percent,” he said. “And so some of his rhetoric about limiting legal immigration is not something that people in Texas are particularly excited about, because we’re at full employment.”