To date, five congressmen from Texas have resigned instead of seeking re-election in 2020. Their resignations signal two things from GOP leadership. The first is the realization that Texas is now lost. The second is that this loss is due entirely to the changing demographics resulting from legal and illegal immigration.
The five congressmen that have resigned are Bill Flores (17th), Will Hurd (23rd), Pete Olson (22nd), Kenny Marchant (24th), and Mike Conaway (11th). Of these five, Congressman Conaway is unique in that his district will likely remain red for some time. He has not faced an opponent in numerous election cycles.
Congressman Hurd’s district 23 has always been very competitive with the victors winning the general elections by an average of about 1% in the last three elections. The district follows the border with Mexico, and it is a bit surprising that Republicans have been able to get elected at all considering it is 24% white and 69% Hispanic.
In 2012 and 2016, the Republican in district 23 was able to outspend opponents by a margin of 2 to 1. In 2018, the Democrats actually outspent the Republicans in that district by a slight margin of 6 to 5. The fact that the Republican was the incumbent was likely the sole deciding factor in the Republican victory. With that same Democratic candidate already raising close to $600,000 for 2020, the GOP leadership saw this district as not worth the $5 million they spent in 2018. District 23 is now permanently blue.
Districts 17, 22, and 24 follow the pattern already seen in district 23. With massive numbers of legal and illegal migrants, the demographics of those districts has caused a gradual and undeniable shift from Republican to Democrat. For the election cycles in 2012, 2014, 2016, and 2018, the Republicans have won district 17 with percentages of 80%, 65%, 61%, and 57%. District 22 has been won with percentages of 64%, 67%, 60%, 51%. District 24 has been won with percentages of 61%, 65%, 56%, and 51%.
These declining percentages mirror the demographic changes: district 17 is now 56% white and 26% Hispanic; district 22 is 42% white and 25% Hispanic; and district 24 is 50% white and 24% Hispanic. This makeup represents a tipping point where the base of the Republican party is simply outnumbered due to migrants that have entered the country recently or are coming of age to vote.
Looking at the financial data paints an even bleaker picture for Republicans. In district 24, there has been no serious effort by Democrats, and they have been outspent by a margin of 10:1 with the best Democratic effort mustering only $100,000 in 2018.
In district 22, the only serious effort from Democrats came in 2018 where they spent $1.5 million compared to the incumbent Republican’s $1.9 million – and they nearly won. Mirroring district 23, that same Democratic candidate from 2018 has already raised close to $400,000 for 2020.
District 17 has shown similar numbers with no candidate on the Democratic side raising more than $85,000 compared to Republican spending of $1.3 million.
This tells us two things. The first is that serious candidates on the Democratic side can not only challenge Republicans such as Congressman Olson or Congressman Hurd, they can win. Make no mistake, had Congressman Olson and Congressman Hurd not resigned, they would have lost in 2020 (baring some Trump surge).
The second is that Republican share of the vote is steadily shrinking despite the lack of spending by Democrats and massive spending by Republicans.
As noted, the reason for this is simple: demographics. For decades, the Republicans have told their voters that they were going to clamp down on illegal immigration and address the legal immigration policies that have facilitated this takeover. They have made excuse after excuse for not fulfilling those promises and now that lack of action is turning Texas blue one district at a time.
It won’t stop with these districts. District 14 in Texas is to the south of district 22. It is currently 52% white and 25% Latino. Just as in other districts, Congressman Weber has seen no serious effort from Democrats since taking office. This will soon change.
Districts 22 and 23 will turn blue in 2020 and/or 2022. Districts 14, 27, and 10 will follow suit by 2026. After this, the dominoes will fall one by one.
What is truly stunning about this situation is that many of these same congressman, whose party is being replaced in Texas due solely to immigration, are actually voting for increased immigration. Congressmen Hurd, Olson, Flores, and Randy Weber all voted for HR 1044 – a bill to import almost unlimited amounts of H1B tech visa workers from India and Pakistan.
At the statewide level, it is possible for incumbent Republican Senator John Cornyn to win reelection to a final term in 2020, but if a good Democratic candidate emerges it will be a toss-up. After that, Senator Cruz will have a tough road to get reelected in 2024. In the unlikely event that he is successful, he will be the last Republican Senator from Texas.
Make no mistake, the GOP’s time is Texas is limited to well under a decade. The truly painful aspect of this is that had the elected Republicans carried through on their pledges on immigration, their hold on the state would be guaranteed for a generation.
Joshua Foxworth is a candidate for Congress in Texas.