Will Texas Be A Swing State By 2020?

November 13, 2012 | Posted by Ashish

The Houston Chronicle has an article up examining the demographical changes in Texas and whether the state is headed towards true Presidential election swing state status by 2020 or 2024.

A mathematical analysis of demographic trends and voting results by the Houston Chronicle and San Antonio Express-News finds that Texas Democrats will reach parity with Republicans at the presidential election level by 2024 if current population and electoral participation trends continue.

But there are many variable factors, and the pace of Democratic progress — or Republican resurgence — could change based on shifts in Latino turnout levels, continuing growth in some of Texas’ heavily Republican suburbs and, most importantly, whether the GOP finds a way to win the support of a greater portion of the Hispanic vote.

“The demographic tides are going to influence Texas,” said Cindy Rugeley, a political science professor at Texas Tech University. “Either a Republican will step up and take the lead in making the party more attractive to Hispanic voters or Texas will return to a two-party state.”

Being a native Texan, the biggest challenge a Democratic Presidential nominee faces in Texas right now is running up the margins in Houston and its surrounding suburbs. Obama did very well in Dallas (he won it 57% to 42%), Austin (he won it 60% to 36%), San Antonio (he won it 52% to 47%), and South Texas (along the border of Mexico, where most of the population is Hispanic — Obama got 70%-80%+ of the vote in these counties). But in Houston (Harris County), Obama and Romney tied at 49%.

For a Democrat to win a state like Texas, which has so many rural areas that vote overwhelmingly Republican, they would have to…

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