Why California Will Turn and Texas Will Not

Liberals and Democrats would like you to believe that while California and Texas are currently strongholds of their respective major political parties, the former will stay blue forever while the latter will soon join in. 

Texas And California

Liberals and Democrats would like you to believe that while California and Texas are currently strongholds of their respective major political parties, the former will stay blue forever while the latter will soon join in.  

This, according to such lines of thought, would make the Republican Party obsolete and give the Democrats full control over the government until the end of days.

While this bleak future is quite possible, many would be shocked to find that the opposite situation is far more probable.  However, to understand the future of these two powerful states, one must understand their respective pasts.

The Political History of California and Texas

California was admitted to the Union in 1848 and was a reliable state for the Republican Party for over a hundred years.  

Republican Presidents Nixon and Reagan both got their political start in California and were later aided by their home state in order to win the presidency.

Tides began to shift in the Golden State with the rise of the New Left in the early 1960s.  Beginning in Europe, the New Left can traces its roots to the varius college campuses of California, most notably, Cal-Berkeley.  

This rejection of conservatism, westernism, capitalism, traditionalism, and most importantly, the Democratic Party of Kennedy, which was seen by the New Left as too moderate, can be seen in the electoral success of Alan Cranston.

Cranston would be first elected to the US Senate by California in 1968 and would be re-elected in 1974, 1980, and 1986.  

Cranston would become the first Democratic senator to win a more than one term since 1944 and the first to win more than two ever.  Cranston would retire in 1992 and from that year on, both senators from California would be from the Democratic Party.

Additionally, 1992 marked the first year California would begin to consistently vote for Democratic presidential candidates.  The Golden State would go blue for Bill Clinton twice despite not doing such since 1964 and not doing such twice since FDR. California would continue to exclusively vote for Democrats over Republicans in presidential elections to this day.

This shift towards Democratic politics has mirrored both the growth and popularity of New Left policies and the rate of Mexican immigration.  Mexican immigration has increased heavily since 1980 and have mainly chosen California as their home.

Texas has a history that mirrors that of California.  Texas became a state in 1845 after nine years of being an independent republic.  Due to its affinity with southern states, it voted Democratically and in-line with the Deep South.  

After seceding in 1861 and being subsequently readmitted to the union in 1870, Texas continued to vote almost exclusively blue.

This began to change, however, in the beginning of the postmodern era.  At that time, a new set of challenges faced the American people, particularly the threat of global communism.  Texas went red twice for Dwight D. Eisenhower in 1952 and 1956 for the first time ever due to his tough stance against communism and his reputation as a World War II general.

The seeds planted by Eisenhower began to sprout into a strong oak for Republicans in 1980 as Californian Ronald Reagan defied the odds and beat southerner Jimmy Carter in Texas to pave his way to the presidency.  

Republicans have won Texas’ vote in every presidential election since 1980.

Republicans began to gain ground in Texas and other parts of the government around the time of Eisenhower, most notably in the election of John Tower in a special election in 1961 to fill the seat vacated by Lyndon B. Johnson.  Tower would go on to serve until 1985 and would be succeeded by fellow Republican Phil Gramm.

Republicans would win full control of Senate representatives in the 1994 midterm elections, otherwise known as the Republican Revolution.  

Republicans would soon also win a majority of House Representatives as well.  All levels of government and representation in Texas would be controlled by Republicans from that time forwards.

Liberals tend to believe that, like California, progressive hubs like Austin or El Paso along with Mexican immigration will cause Texas to turn blue.

Firstly, this argument ignores that Texan cities are less powerful than one would think.  Suburbs, not cities, are the fastest growing areas in Texas, as well as becoming more and more conservative and loyal to the Republican Party in comparing statistics from 1990 and 2010.  

Additionally, these supposed progressive hubs are less loyal to Democrats than the rest of the state is to Republicans.

Additionally, Mexican immigration does not have the same effect on Texas as it did on California.  

Current Socio-Political Inclinations

Texas hispanics vote along the same lines as hispanics in other states, which is to say a high yet decreasing rate, but it is counteracted by the rest of the states’ loyalty to the Republican Party.

California Democrats, on the other hand, could be looking at bigger issues.  The gubernatorial elections of Republican movie stars Ronald Reagan in 1966 and Arnold Schwarzenegger in 2002 show exposable holes for Hollywood conservatives seeking office such as Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson or Kanye West could potentially exploit.

Additionally, a recent shock poll from UC-Berkeley shows that a majority of Californians are on-board with Trump’s brand of conservatism.  

This, combined with the recent lawsuit against California by the Trump administration, a lawsuit that many California municipalities have joined with Trump on, at the whim of their constituents, show an ideological shift in the state away from the New Left.

The hardest pill of Californians to swallow is the assimilation and subsequent Republicanization of hispanic voters.  Mexican immigration hit its peak around 2010 and have since been living in the United States for an average of around 20 years.  

Despite having many harmful policies that place roadblocks on the path to assimilation for immigrants, on both a state and federal level, assimilation is both natural and inevitable.  Once this occurs, they will be far more likely to vote red.

Across the country this is already occurring with the broader category of hispanics.  As the percentage of hispanic immigrants who have lived in the US for ten of more years continues to rise towards the 75% mark, hispanic support for Democrats continues to falter.  Hispanic support for Democrats, removing statistical anomalies, grew at a steady pace from 1992 through 2012, rising from 61% in 1992 to 71% in 2012. However, this past 2016 election saw that number drop down to 65% with the tangible cost of Florida for the Democrats.  

This number is not drastic enough to be an anomaly like the 72% figure in 1996 or the 56% figure in 2004, but instead could be the beginning of a trend.  A trend that should leave Democrats, especially those in California, awfully worried.

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  1. It is important to explain why California is likely to flip this fall. They have a different primary system than many other states. I will attempt to explain this as well as I can.
    The primary is between all candidates of all parties, and the two candidates with the most votes (regardless of party) go on to compete in the election.
    The Republicans have handled this very smartly, only having 2 candidates for each district, whereas the Democrats have sometimes 4 or 5 or 6 well-funded candidates per district.
    This can spread their votes very thin, and will, quite possibly, create a situation of the fall election coming down to Republican v. Republican for a number of districts.
    Democrats have so much division within their own party, that it is impossible for any one candidate to make enough people happy. Also, more people are tired of violence and other immigration related issues, and are turning conservative. This is evidenced by how many communities are suing to stop sanctuary status.
    People are realising it is coming down to survival, and if they have to vote conservative to protect their families, as well as their jobs and recent boost in income thanks to Trump, many will vote Republican who would have never considered it before.

Jesse Edberg

Jesse Edberg is a student at the Charles E. Smith Jewish Day School in Maryland class of 2020. He is the proud descendant of three US Army veterans and three Treblinka rioteers. Edberg is also a Student Ambassador to Prager University.

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