How many votes does Texas have

Elections in the USA: Alienation on installments in Texas

In 1976 Donald Trump started his first major real estate project. The then 30-year-old was working on the acquisition of a hotel from the bankruptcy of a railway company. The deal in his native New York succeeds, also because Trump does not always take the truth exactly when negotiating with the city.

1976 also marks the year in which the Democrats won a presidential election in Texas for the last time. Jimmy Carter wins in the "Lone Star State" as well as nationally. In the following four decades, not only did Carter fail in his attempt for re-election, but Walter Mondale, Michael Dukakis, Bill Clinton, Al Gore, John Kerry, Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton were left behind against their Republican opponents.

In rural areas, conservative parties traditionally do better. And there is hardly a better breeding ground for it than Texas, the US state with the second largest area after Alaska. Here the Confederate flag is still part of everyday culture in certain areas and is not a reminder of racism and slave exploitation. Not just blood, the soil made Texans rich too. "Drill, baby, drill!" With this battle cry for more oil drilling, the Republicans went into the 2008 presidential election campaign. Today the economy is more diversified.

The basis of the weakening itself

It was also land that has lured many citizens to Texas in recent years. Here the dream of a house with a garden could still be fulfilled for the middle class. The newcomers shifted the political weight, as they often came from the democratic bastions of California, New York and Illinois as well as Florida, which was fought over between the two parties. The often well-trained people quickly found jobs - at least before the Corona crisis. And the New Texans were pleased that there was no such levy in the state other than national income tax. A regulation that applies in addition to Texas in only six other US states.

The governor and Congress, both firmly in Republican hands for decades, have laid the foundation for their own weakening with their policies. The bacon belts with their sea of ​​single-family homes have mutated into a battlefield between Republicans and Democrats. The metropolises are already in the hands of the Democrats: In the election four years ago, Trump got 227 of the 254 regional administrative units in Texas, the counties. But the president was defeated in the four largest cities, Houston, San Antonio, Dallas and Austin.

Texas not only has the second largest area of ​​all states, it also ranks second in terms of population with 29 million, topped only by California. In the four largest cities and in fifth-place Fort Worth - which is still predominantly Republican - as well as in the surrounding area, three million new residents were added between 2010 and 2018. That means an increase of almost 20 percent. The Washington Post analyzed that in these 27 counties almost 70 percent of the votes are now from all of Texas.

The Latinos make a significant contribution to the population growth. Four out of ten Texans have Latin American roots. Demographers expect to catch up with whites in 2022. And the young Hispanic population is noticeably coming of age. In the 2000 presidential election, only one in five eligible voters was Latino; by the mid-term elections in 2018, the proportion had already risen to 30 percent.

Deterred by Trump's brute rhetoric

This trend favors the Democrats because Hispanics - like blacks and Americans of Asian descent - are overwhelmingly sympathetic to presidential candidate Joe Biden's party. Many Latinos were also little taken with Trump's wall policy on the border with Mexico, including his shrill tones. They are in sharp contrast to those of his predecessor George W. Bush. As governor of Texas, he was already trying to win the votes of the Hispanics. His brother Jeb, who went down against Trump in the 2016 Republican primary, is fluent in Spanish.

Beto O'Rourke also likes to use his knowledge of Spanish. The Democrat specifically addressed those who were particularly terrified of Trump's brute rhetoric in cities, suburbia and among minorities in the 2018 Senate election. O’Rourke had to admit defeat to Republican incumbent Ted Cruz. In between, however, there was hope for a sensation.

Since then, the reversal of the balance of power no longer seems utopian to the Democrats. Texas is not even on the list of states that will now have to be won in the presidential election. Florida and reclaiming the industrial areas in the Rust Belt are a priority. But Biden has "his foot in the door", writes O’Rourke in a guest article for the "New York Times".

In the summer, a Trump spokeswoman attested that the Democrats were "delusional" at the thought that they could win in Texas. A TV commercial has now been produced for Biden that is aimed exclusively at the local audience - the first of its kind in a quarter of a century. In the four weeks leading up to the election alone, the Democrats are spending $ 6.2 million on television advertising in the state.

One thing is certain: the race in Texas will be closer than it was four years ago. At the time, Trump was nine percentage points ahead of Hillary Clinton. These are worlds, and yet it was the smallest lead a Republican had since 1996, when Bob Dole beat Bill Clinton. Now the statistics website FiveThirtyEight shows a gap of not even two percentage points for Joe Biden based on the mean of the existing surveys.

Difficulty with postal voting was overturned

The Republicans are counteracting this by wanting to lower the turnout. This is particularly low in Texas among minorities. Governor Greg Abbott therefore decreed that only one postal vote should be allowed per county. In Harris County, for example, with a population of 2.3 million, there would have been eleven fewer retail outlets. However, a federal court overturned the Republican's decree. More bad news for the party is likely to follow in the future.