Texas will turn from red to blue in 10 years. That's the claim Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul is making these days.
But it's more than a claim; it's a warning. And for once, I agree with the senator.
Now I know many of you are asking, "whats a guy from Kentucky doing commenting on Texas?" Well there are a few reasons: He was raised there; his father represented that state in Congress for 24 years; and he's probably running for president and wants to continue to count on Texas and it's electoral votes going to the GOP.
The reason I agree with Paul is simple: America's voter pool is getting more diverse.
CNN reported Paul as saying, "That doesn't mean we give up on what we believe in, but it means we have to be a more welcoming party. ... “We have to welcome people of all races. We need to welcome people of all classes – business class, working class.” He went on: “We need to have people with ties and without ties, with tattoos and without tattoos; with earrings, without earrings. ... We need a more diverse party. We need a party that looks like America.”
Obviously he means attracting more women and more minorities; not just African Americans, but especially Hispanics.
In past elections, we have seen a large increase in the percentage of Hispanics who are voting, and not just in Texas. We saw President Obama take 71 percent of the Hispanic vote, while Romney only received 27 percent. The Hispanic population and the Hispanic vote is strong and getting stronger day by day, election by election. In Texas, they make up 40 percent of voters; that's four times the national average. And those are numbers can't be ignored, not by Texas voters and certainly not by the GOP.
But how does a party that has been against immigration reform and so much legislation that would have assisted immigrants in the past win back that segment of the population? Well, Paul's remarks come as President Obama has deported 2,000,000 illegal immigrants. The Hispanic community is not happy about that or about the lack of progress with regard to immigration reform. In other words, the GOP has a chance to gain some support from those that feel left behind by this president and this administration.
Fortunately for Democrats, Paul's remarks will likely land on some deaf ears within the GOP. Even the senator himself, in a piece he wrote for Politico about immigration reform, continues to make border security a bigger issue, even though it is often the very issue that prevents reform legislation from going forward. Remember, Paul voted against the so-called gang of eight legislation in the Senate for that very reason.
Can Democrats win and win big with voters in Texas?
Could they possibly turn a very strong red state blue? I do think it could take
about a decade. But if the GOP does nothing, the color purple won't just be a great
film; it will be the color of the map after the next election, especially in
border states, like Texas.