Why Didn’t Democrats Take Back Texas?

One of the loftiest goals for the Democratic Party has been to flip Texas blue. Or perhaps “take it back” would be more accurate since it was Democratic for over a century before W. Bush put his carpet bagging ass in the Governor’s mansion.

They wanted it bad for Hillary in 2016, for Beto in 2018, and now for Biden and/or MJ Hegar this year. It’s been the most mouth-watering prize on the Democratic Party’s “to do list” since forever because Republicans would have a hard time winning the Presidency without it, and it’s another huge state that increases Democratic claims that they actually control the economy and huge population states. [Out of the 15 most populated states, only Texas, Florida, Ohio, and North Carolina went for Trump. And Texas is the only “solid red” state out of even those four.]

And yet Texas not only didn’t flip, it’s the leading state literally suing Michigan, Georgia, Arizona, Wisconsin, and Pennsylvania to stop them from certifying their election results.

So what happened? And why has “Blue Texas” not materialized the way we keep hoping for?

Half of America’s Latinos self-identity as white…Biden tried to say something like this (about how the Hispanic community was much more diverse than black Americans) and people pretended to be outraged for 5 minutes. But the reality is that Latino voters don’t have the same race, ethnicity, country of origin (Spain, South America, Central America, Mexico, Caribbean), or even citizenship process. Cubans literally don’t have the citizenship process a Guatemalan does, and that’s why talking about immigration doesn’t really appeal (or apply) to them at all.

Likewise, in Texas, most of the non-legal Texas Latinos may agree with Democrats but they literally can’t vote. Many of the ones that do vote are hardcore conservatives who are almost as fanatical about immigration as Trump is. “They messed up my country, and now they want to come here? No!”

Oil…Texas is still tied to the dead economy of fossil fuels. Texas is the largest oil producing state…by a landslide. In 2019, they produced 1.9 billion barrels of oil whereas North Dakota was a distant second with only a half billion barrels.

Democrats understand the need for alternative energy and the killing of the fossil fuel economy, but that may not be a popular position in Texas for a while—which is fine. It’s not worth it to throw away our gains on renewable energy to chase a single state that may never come around, no matter how badly we want it.

Biden never expected to win Texas, and didn’t commit real resources there…Biden’s campaign never fully committed to Texas. At one point, a Biden source said something along the lines of “Texas has too many media markets and is too expensive for us, but Georgia is real.” They very clearly focused more on the big “Midwest three” (Wisconsin, Michigan, and Biden’s home state of Pennsylvania), Georgia, and Arizona—which were probably cheaper combined than Texas would’ve been if they had committed real resources.

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