GOP candidates remain strong in many largely Hispanic districts, despite Democratic hopes of a blue wave driven by Hispanic and Latino outrage over immigration policy, according to a Wednesday National Journal piece highlights.
Looking at House races in Texas, the Republicans who are most in trouble are in white, affluent suburbs, rather than Hispanic-heavy border districts. Republican Texas Rep. Will Hurd of Texas represents a 70 percent Hispanic district, according to the Wednesday National Journal piece, and is willing to criticize the Trump administration, questioning the Department of Justice’s zero-tolerance policy on Twitter.
“Why did they make this decision … Really?,” Hurd tweeted on June 18.
Why did they make this decision & what other decisions were weighed against zero-tolerance? How do these kids know where their parents are? How do the parents know where their kids are? A 1-800 number? Really? pic.twitter.com/wIzUHlxPYc
— Rep. Will Hurd (@HurdOnTheHill) June 18, 2018
Hurd only won his election by a little over one percent in 2016, according to Ballotpedia, but his district is not currently on The Cook Political Report’s most endangered members list, according to the National Journal article.
Texas Republican Rep. Pete Sessions, however, is on that list.
Session’s District 32 is 68 percent white, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. The average household income is over $100,000, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. In contrast, Hurd’s District 23 has an average income of about $72,000. (RELATED: WaPo ‘Conservative’ Columnist: GOP Is A ‘White-Nationalist Party’)
“It’s a crystal-clear sign that the anti-Trump anger is concentrated within whiter, affluent suburban communities, not the Hispanic battlegrounds with the most at stake,” the National Journal article states.
The National Journal article highlights similar trends in other states, such as in California and Florida.
In Florida, Puerto Ricans, a traditionally Democratic voting group, held a 55 percent positive view of Republican Senate candidate Rick Scott, according to the National Journal article. That’s only two-points behind incumbent Democratic Sen. Bill Nelson.
Pundits often point to demographic shifts as a potential boost for Democrats and a bane for Republicans. By 2045, whites are expected to comprise a minority of the American population at 49.9 percent, with Hispanics becoming almost a quarter of the country at 24.6 percent, according to a March 2018 Brookings Institute report.
“The long-term challenge for Republicans remains unchanged: They still have to figure out how to appeal to the growing proportion of the electorate that is non- white and college-educated,” Whit Ayres, a GOP pollster told The Atlantic in May 2017. He called this demographic shift a “long-term challenge” for the Republican party.
Yet the GOP is banking on Hispanic outreach. The Republican National Committee has a $250 million “data-driven field program” focused on expanding “the GOP’s presence in key communities,” according to an April 2018 article from CBS News.
One of those key communities is Hispanic Americans, with Hispanic outreach directors in different states, according to the CBS article. “We’re building a volunteer army,” Nevada GOP state director Dan Coats told CBS News. “A strong field game like the one we have here can and will make a difference.”
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