Recently, Dr. Anand Bhat visited Politics Done Right to discuss his research on Texas elections. He is an engaged medical doctor, activist, and blogger who loves numbers.
Texas will be California soon
Watch the entire episode here.
Recently Dr. Bhat wrote the article “Democrats winning Texas is not a pipe dream at all” that pointed out the Texas trajectory to turning blue. In his visit to Politics Done Right, he explained it in much more detail. Get a cup of coffee and watch the segment above.
Here is a snippet from his article.
Stagnation and Growth Reversed
The Republican Party of Texas used to be the party of growth. Between 1976 and 2000, the Republican presidential vote doubled. Now it seems to have run out of gas.
Year Republican Democrat Margin 2000 3,799,639 2,433,746 1,365,893 2004 4,526,917 2,832,704 1,694,213 2008 4,479,328 3,528,663 950,665 2012 4,569,843 3,308,124 1,261,713 2016 4,685,047 3,877,868 807,179
The most successful Republican candidates keep getting about the same number of votes since 2004 despite the state adding more than 6 million residents. There is not much variation between Donald Trump (4.68 million), Gregg Abbott (4.64 million in 2018), Mitt Romney (4.57 million), John McCain (4.48 million), and George W. Bush (4.52 million in 2004). Before 2018, the typical Republican candidate for governor only got 2.7 million votes.
Since 2000, the Democratic vote is growing after decades of stagnation. Jimmy Carter won Texas in 1976 with 2 million votes which is not much different from Al Gore’s 2.4 million in 2000. Since 2000, we have John Kerry (2.83 million), Barack Obama (3.3 million to 3.5 million), and Hillary Clinton (3.88 million) slowly gaining on Republican presidential candidate’s 4.5 – 4.6 million votes. The Democratic gubernatorial candidate typically crashes out with 1.8 – 2 million votes until 2018 when Sheriff Lupe Valdez somehow scored more votes than Barack Obama in 2008 despite running an awful campaign against a strong incumbent. Regardless of the quality of the Democratic presidential candidate, the Democratic presidential candidate is gaining 90,257 votes per year since the year 2000 which is 361,030 vote per presidential election.
4.5 million votes or Bust
That makes it safe to say that the Democratic nominee for president in 2020, regardless of quality, should get 4.2 million votes in Texas. That’s not bad since no Democrat reached the 4 million vote mark until Congressman O’Rourke’s 2018 campaign.
Indeed, 2020 could line up to be a transformational year. One hopes Democrats do not blow it with an unnecessary acquiescence to a mythical center.