The R/D split can be rounded off to 90-60, a solid R majority but enough meat on the bone for the Democrats to mount real opposition. More important, the trend line is in the Democrats’ favor–inexorably so. This year — 2011 — is the last time that Republicans will dominate redistricting. Ever. From now on, all news is bad news for the GOP. Legler (District 144) has an Hispanic voting age population (VAP) of 70.6% and an Anglo population of 20%. Margo (District 78) has an Hispanic voting age population of 69.3% and an Anglo population of 23%. Harper Brown (District 105) has a district that was won by the Democratic Supreme Court candidate for place 7 in 2008. These are not isolated instances. These are trends. Every year, more young Hispanics turn 18 and march into the voting age population. In the 2001 redistricting, fifteen districts had anglo VAPs between 50 and 60 percent. By 2011, nine of the fifteen had become minority anglo. In the Court’s current map, 23 districts have an anglo population between 50 and 60 percent. Fourteen of these will likely be minority districts in the next redistricting. Democratic redistricting wonks foresee a House majority by 2017 – 2019 that will become permanent. The factory that manufactures anglo voters has been mothballed. Republicans have been unbelievably stupid in accelerating their own annihilation. They have pandered to the short term xenophobia of their base to pass Voter I.D., a totally phony issue that rests on the belief that fraud in the form of voter impersonation is rampant, when there is scant evidence that this is so. They have done their best to alienate the fastest growing segment of the Texas population, a demographic group that is compatible with Republican values of family, religion, and patriotism. They might as well have imbibed hemlock by the gallon. It’s not as if the demographics were a great big secret. Steve Murdock, the former state demographer, went around the state in the nineties with his power point presentation that showed how immigration and birth rates were changing the state, and warning that if state government did not educate its future workforce, Texas faced a bleak future of declining income. Karl Rove carried a similar message to Republicans during the twilight of the Bush governorship. He said Republicans had fifteen years (until 2015) to woo the Hispanic vote or face the loss of their majority status. Then Rick Perry became governor and put Voter I.D. and sanctuary cities legislation at the top of the state’s agenda, while he signed a budget that gutted the public schools and the health care infrastructure of the state–and bragged about it on the presidential campaign trail. The twilight of the Republicans is imminent. It’s going to happen the same way it happened to the conservative Democrats. The conservatives were in power so long that they thought nothing would ever change. Then, suddenly, the suburbs exploded and the conservative Democrats melted into history, almost overnight. That is the Republicans’ fate. It is inexorable and inescapable unless they face up to the future–and the future was yesterday.
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