Introduction: This report studies the voter registration rates in face of the upcoming Texas Senatorial elections in November 2018.
Methods: Using the latest voter registration data by race and party in Texas and the Population Estimates of the Census Bureau, this report analyzes demographic change in the state and its relationship with the presidential elections of 2016.
Results: The Texas senatorial race between Ted Cruz and Beto O’Rourke will be decided by voter participation rates of both Republican and Democratic constituencies. Unfortunately, for O’Rourke young people between 18 and 24 years of age, African-Americans, and especially Latinos, have the lowest voter participation rates in the state, and nationally as well and these are the core of Democratic voters. Republican constituencies, largely white, older and rural have had much historical participation rates in the state.
The most important determining factor in this election will be the participation rates of Latinos who now are as numerous as non-Hispanic whites in the state. However, while over 62% of non-Hispanic whites voted in the 2016 presidential election, only 40% of eligible Latino voters went to the polls.
Discussion: There are few indications that the Latino vote will increase significantly in this election according to recent news reports. Irrespective of the racist demagogic atacks on Latinos across the county by the current president, and his surrogate in Texas, Cruz, it appears that Latinos in Texas are going to continue sitting on the sidelines as if their vote does not mater. If there is no change in the political attitudes and participation rates of Latinos, an O’Rourke victory will be quite difficult, although there are other factors which could possibly influence the outcome. Among these are the voting rates of young people, African Americans, and urban and suburban women of all races who may have been impacted by the bitter Kavanaugh confirmation process.