Thursday, October 26, 2017

Texas Is More Like The Rest Of America Than You Might Imagine


Over the last few decades, once populist Texas has turned into a very red state. But not hopelessly red. Last year , without even trying, Hillary made unexpected inroads in districts that were gerrymandered to prevent unexpected inroads. Trump won the state-- 4,685,047 (52.23%) to 3,877,868 (43.24%). Those 3.87 million Texans who voted for Hillary were more than her margin of victory in the national popular vote. Without all those Texans, Trump might have won. Hillary won every major city in the state. She took Harris County (Houston) with 53.95%, Dallas County with 60.75%, Travis County (Austin) with 65.77%, El Paso County with 69.08%, Bexar County (San Antonio) with 54.19%, Hidalgo County (McAllen) with 68.50%.

Those numbers help explain the context of a poll released this week by the Texas Tribune showing that Texans aren't buying into the Hate Talk Radio version of American politics. DACA, for example, is quote popular and will play a role in the Senate race pitting Beto O'Rourke against Ted Cruz.
Nearly 60 percent of Texans want to extend the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, which protects from deportation some 124,000 Texans who arrived as children and remained in the country illegally, according to results of the University of Texas/Texas Tribune poll released Monday.

Answering a separate question, slightly more than half oppose the immediate deportation of unauthorized immigrants living in Texas, according to the internet survey of 1,200 registered voters conducted Oct. 6-15. It has an overall margin of error of 2.83 percentage points.

...As the fate of DACA unfolds, it is expected to be a defining issue in the 2018 U.S. Senate race between Republican Sen. Ted Cruz and his likely Democratic rival, U.S. Rep. Beto O’Rourke of El Paso.

Cruz is a fierce critic of DACA, who had pledged as a candidate for the Republican presidential nomination in 2016 to rescind on his first day in office what he considered an unconstitutional action by the president. He is fond of saying his immigration policy can be articulated in four words: “Legal, good. Illegal, bad.”

O’Rourke is a staunch supporter of extending DACA to protect people who, he said, know no other home but the United States and are, in his view, as American as his own three children.

While 86 percent of Democrats and 39 percent of Republicans in the Texas poll want to continue DACA, opposition among Republicans is driven by those who identify with the tea party. Sixty-nine percent of tea party Republicans oppose DACA, compared with 41 percent of other Republicans.

...The survey also noted that “some Texas leaders prioritized restricting access to public restrooms for transgender people in the recently concluded legislative session” and asked, “How important do you think it is that the Texas Legislature address this issue?”

Twenty-four percent said it was very important, 19 percent said somewhat important, 15 percent said not very important, 36 percent said not at all important, and 6 percent didn’t know.

That legislative effort, championed especially by Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick, and backed by Gov. Greg Abbott, was stopped cold in both the regular and special legislative sessions by House Speaker Joe Straus, R-San Antonio, and his lieutenants.
Lillian Salerno is easily the best of the many Democrats running for the north Dallas-Metro congressional seat held by crooked Republican power-player Pete Sessions. Today she noted that changes are hitting the GOP in Texas faster than they can handle them. "Speaker Straus announced today that he will not run for re-election next year and more and more Republicans are running from a Texas GOP obsessed with bathrooms and walls. Maybe the Pete Sessions GOP should go into interior decorating and leave governing to Texas Democrats."

Goal ThermometerTom Wakely, the progressive running a grassroots effort at capturing the governor's mansion told us that he and Straus had gone to the same high school in San Antonio. "He’s a few years younger than I am but was in the same grades as one of my sisters. I know him and he represents what I would described as the pro-let’s-make-a-buck side of the Republican party. He doesn’t give a rat’s ass about anything that doesn’t make him, his family, friends or colleagues money. Thus, Joe’s opposition to the bathroom bill and his support of DACA. He saw the bathroom bill cutting into profits and DACA helping the corporate bottom line. But what I find telling in this ideological battle taking place within the Texas Republican party and which I believe the Texas Tribune poll shows, is that a growing number of Republicans are willing to jump ship. I can’t tell you how many people I have spoken to and who claim to be Democrats who are pushing for Straus to switch party and run for Governor as a Democrat. Now as far-fetched as that may seem it isn’t out of the realm of possibility and would actually fall right in line with the Texas Democratic party’s strategy of recruiting ex-Republicans. So far within the last year alone we’ve seen 2 Republican state judges leave their party and announce plans to run as Democrats. We’ve also got a Democratic state representative here in Bexar County where I live who by all accounts is a Republican. She hates unions, is pro-life and thinks charter schools are just great. Then of course, you have NRA-loving Congressman Henry Cuellar who votes more often with Republicans than with Democrats. The Texas Democratic party says they want a big tent, everyone is welcome. Well, as far as I am concerned bringing an elephant into your tent ain’t the way to go."

Derrick Crowe's 2018 opponent is an outspoke bigot who has loudly opposed DACA, Lamar Smith. Derrick has a very different approach on this, as on about everything other than apple pie. He told us that "Smith called the DREAM Act 'an American nightmare.' Clearly, he never met any of the American children protected by DACA. Those of us who actually spend our time in this district know our neighbors well enough to know that DACA recipients represent some of the best and the brightest of our people. DACA should continue, and we should pass the DREAM Act immediately."

Dayna Steele is the progressive running in TX-36-- East Texas from Houston suburbs like Deer Park, La Porte, Baytown, Sheldon and Channelview north and east to the Louisiana border through Lumberton to Jasper and the Sam Rayburn Reservoir, which the district shares with Louie Gohmert's insane asylum of a district. This morning she told us that "What's important to note is that Texas is NOT a red state-- in a recent poll, more than 70 percent of Texans identified as Democrat or Independent. So, what this means is Texas is a do not get out and vote state. Partially because we just got complacent and figured everything was okay and because the Republicans took over the narrative and convinced everyone we were a red state. We are not."

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At 9:59 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

It's the Hispanics. They vote, but sadly, mostly for $hillbillary.

But it's also the whites. Sure they're just as racist as anyone. But they're also oil/gas/cattle billionaires and everyone who aspires to be. They're used to boilerplate corruption and vast wealth inequality and want to keep it that way. They aren't so religious about their hatred that they'll forget how greedy and superior they and their wealth are.

Remove Austin (UT) and, to a lesser extent, San Antonio, though, and you've always had a crimson red, racist and purist fascist state who doesn't do shit for people except the rich white ones. Education sucks. The environment sucks. Guns and Baptists. Everything sucks except low taxes on the rich.

The rest of the south and midwest wants a white Nazi Christian caliphate. Only the left coast and the NE areas want a USA modeled on the original constitution (the people, anyway. The money wants TX's model)


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