Democrats hope to turn Texas blue in 2020 and they’re counting on Asian-American voters

Democrats have been talking about trying to turn Texas blue for my entire lifetime. They’re trying again this year and the hope is that an influx of Asian voters will change the balance:

The population of Texas has swelled in the past few years, owing mostly to an influx of multi-religious and multiethnic communities, all driven toward its sprawling cities. The electorate has expanded with over 2.1 million additions since 2016. Polls have begun to predict a close race between Joe Biden and Donald Trump in the state, and Asian Americans might have a big role to play in swinging the vote.

According to AAPI Data, a group that tracks the community in numbers, eligible Asian American voters in Texas shot up by 50 percent from 2012 to 2018. The spike is higher than the overall population growth in Texas — pegged at 12 percent. It is estimated that Asian Americans are 5.5 percent of Texas’ voting population today…

Harris was recently seen aiding the cause and underlining the importance of flipping the state: “If we turn Texas blue, we can guarantee we’ve blocked Donald Trump’s path back to the White House,” she wrote in a blog for Texas Democrats, reiterating that she was asking for Texans to turn up not for just the presidential vote, but also for “Democrats up and down the ballot who will fight on behalf of working people.”…

Involvement is key when it comes to the community. Part of the problem is that Asian Americans don’t turn out to vote, but that is mostly because they aren’t reached out to as much, experts say. A recent AAPI Data poll found that 56 percent of Asian American voters nationally said they hadn’t been contacted at all by the Democratic Party, while 59 percent said the same of the Republicans.

Again, this is the kind of thing Democrats say every election season and they are continually disappointed. Remember Beto O’Rourke? Still, if you look at some of the polling the race for president does look surprisingly close. FiveThirtyEight currently has an average at +0.5 for Trump. There was even a brief stretch last month when Biden held a slim lead. Biden even launched a SuperPAC called Blue Texas PAC:

The new group is backed by senior Texas Democratic political stalwarts and big names like ex-Bernie Sanders surrogate Jim Hightower and former Dallas Cowboys defensive end Michael Bennett.

“Texas is changing. We are mobilizing, registering voters, fighting for equality and justice,”Bennett said in a launch video for the group. “Today Republicans hold Texas, but it’s time we take it from them right now.”

Though it was once home to liberal icons like former Gov. Ann Richards, Texas has voted Republican in every presidential election since 1980.

So Dems are once again going for it but Texas GOP Chairman Allen West says it’s just not going to happen.

“I think there’s a clear-cut choice. People here in Texas want safety, they want security, they want a strong economy. They want a strong oil and gas industry. I don’t understand why anyone would vote for someone that says we’re not going to drill,” West said…

“I invite them to come down to Texas. I got some great barbecue places I can recommend, but they’re gonna waste a lot of money here,” West said.

Obviously if Texas did turn blue that would put Biden in blowout territory. It’s not impossible but it doesn’t seem likely at this moment. Biden has a national lead but the race has been getting tighter since the conventions. But there’s still a lot of time left. Anything can happen in eight weeks.

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