Micah Cohen offers half of an answer to a question that’s been on the back of my mind for a while: why haven’t we seen Texas shading toward a lighter shade of red, given the depth of recent demographic shifts?
Poor turnout has dulled the impact of the state’s Hispanic population at the ballot box. Hispanics may make up 38 percent of the population, but they have never exceeded 20 percent of the electorate in presidential elections, according to exit polls.
“Latino turnout is even lower here than it is in a lot of other places,” Mr. Henson said.
Hispanic turnout is creeping up incrementally, but the non-Hispanic white vote in Texas has become overwhelmingly Republican.
The other half of the question, of course, is why? What accounts for lower political participation rates among Texas Latinos than Latinos elsewhere?
Update, in response to a question I did some math in comments. Upshot: if Texas Latinos participated at roughly the same rate as New Mexico Latinos, McCain’s margin of victory in 2008 would have been in the 3-4 point range.