Let’s be clear about this: If Latinos voted at the same rates as whites, Texas would already be Purple. And all other things remaining equal, it would’ve provided Mitt Romney with his second closest victory margin last year. Except that all things wouldn’t have been equal—a five-point race would’ve meant lots of money. Democrats would’ve poured resources into the state, while Republicans would’ve been forced to divert their cash to playing defense.
How important is Texas? If Republicans lost it, they could win Florida, Iowa, New Hampshire, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Virginia and Wisconsin and still lose the election. In other words, lose Texas, or even be forced to defend that expensive#$%$ state, and Republicans are screwed.
So the math is clear—Texas would be purple of Latinos voted. But they don’t, so who cares, right? Well, Republicans should, because even with the same existing #$%$ turnout rate the growth in the Latino and Asian communities will erode the GOP’s base by about 5 1/2 points every four years, or about 1.4 points per year.
In other words, demographics alone will make Texas purple by 2024. And if Latinos decide to start voting, years sooner.
Of the 15 senators who voted against debating immigration reform, 13 were from red states, including Texas’ Ted Cruz. As Kos points out, there is no better reason for Republicans to vote for immigration reform than that of holding on to Texas. And yet, it’s going to be an uphill battle getting a bill out of the Senate and near impossible to get it through the House where Tea Party Republicans have vowed to block any and all legislation.