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Shenanigans Trump Politics In Texas Redistricting Fight

17 Aug

Supreme Court Steps In to Review Texas RedistrictingFive districts here, five districts over there – what does it matter?

Lawmakers made relatively small changes to the House maps that were used in the 2012 elections, but left the Senate and congressional maps just as they were. If the courts go along, that would mean incumbents seeking re-election would run next year in the same or essentially the same districts that elected them last year.

It has been a long, detailed and contentious process, and it is probably far from over. The short form of our story so far:

The 2010 census resulted in shifts in the distribution of congressional seats from states that lost population to states that grew. Texas gained four seats, for a total of 36.

Minority groups noted the state’s growth was fueled by their populations; 89 percent of the population growth in Texas from 2000 to 2010 came in minority groups, and 66 percent was in the Hispanic population.

The 2011 Legislature, with a Republican supermajority in the House and a near supermajority in the Senate, drew new maps for congressional and legislative elections that were immediately challenged by minority and Democratic plaintiffs as unrepresentative of the state’s population. Their cases were consolidated and sent to a panel of three federal judges in San Antonio.

At the same time, the state asked a different panel of federal judges in Washington, D.C., to pre-clear the maps — a requirement under the federal Voting Rights Act.

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The Road To A Blue Texas

12 Aug

HDR-Inside-the-Austin-Texas-Capital-top-floor“They have too many white men, and we don’t have enough,” (via The Texas Tribune)

Optimistically I”m a white voter bringing the blue to Texas. Politically that’s insignificant, as State Rep.Mark Strama, D-Austin, can lament. The reason for that depressing fact is immigration.

cyclo4But someone needs to rain on the rodeo: Democrats don’t have a chance of snagging Texas in a competitive presidential election any time soon. That’s because Latinos in Texas are disproportionately ineligible to vote. Too many either aren’t citizens or are too young to upend the state in the next few election cycles.

In order to win Texas in the near future, a Democratic presidential candidate would need not just record Latino turnout, but a historic performance with white voters, too.

So when, then, could a Democratic contender have a reasonable shot of moving Texas into the toss-up column?

 

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