Democrats’ Dream Of Flipping Texas Is Turning Into A Recurring Nightmare

by | Nov 9, 2022 | Politics

In 2008, Barack Obama lost the state of Texas in his first presidential bid by 946,584 votes, carrying 43.8% of the vote. On Tuesday, Democrat Beto O’Rourke lost his long-shot bid for Texas governor by nearly 900,000 votes. With nearly all the ballots counted, he carried the exact same share of the vote as Obama did 14 years ago. AdvertisementElection night offered some scattered good news for Texas Democrats. They staved off Republican threats in two South Texas congressional districts. O’Rourke, on paper, continued a trend of narrowing Republican Gov. Greg Abbott’s margin of victory in gubernatorial races from the 20-percentage-point pummeling Wendy Davis suffered in 2014 to about 11 percentage points. But the election also made a more painful reality obvious for Democrats: They still haven’t managed to turn the state purple. “We’ve made almost no progress,” said veteran Democratic strategist Colin Strother. “In 126 years, at this pace, we’ll be at parity. The math just doesn’t work.” Democrats running statewide slipped in key areas where they needed to make gains. Youth turnout lagged. Margins in key urban areas, including Dallas and Harris County, where Houston is located, appeared to shrink compared with O’Rourke’s margin against Sen. Ted Cruz in 2018. The rural voters O’Rourke worked so hard to win over continued to reject him. AdvertisementPerhaps most painfully for Democrats, outgoing President Donald Trump’s unexpected Republican in-roads in 2020 in heavily Hispanic and historically Democratic South Texas appeared to hold steady. For more than a decade, Democrats have contended that the conservative establishme …

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