Californians may not turn Texas blue this election, according to experts

Ash Jurberg

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It's no secret that Californians are moving to Texas.

From the period 2010 to 2019 - the last year that Census data is available- 885,000 people moved to Texas. And 34% of them, about 303,000, were from California.

Primarily they are coming for cheaper housing and more job opportunities. For example, the median home price in Texas is $362,000 compared to $800,000 in California.

But many people are asking, with such an influx of Californians into Texas, how will this impact elections? California is a Democrat state, while we know that Texas is strongly Republican. The Californian Gov. Gavin Newsom has been very critical of Texas Gov. Greg Abbott.

Can the hundreds of thousands of migrating Californians turn Texas blue?

The answer, it seems, is yes. And no.

"It’s too early to say. We don’t have really good data on the political leanings of people leaving. Some would say it’s the people who lean a little more right who come to Texas. We don’t know. What we do know is this: moving across long distances, especially for work reasons, skews young. The people coming to Texas are on the younger side. And young people, on average, have more progressive views on a number of social issues. A reasonable bet is any place that attracts a bunch of younger people is going to shift a little bit toward their views." Cullum Clark, director of the Bush Institute-Southern Methodist University Economic Growth Initiative

However, Chuck Devore, the Texas Public Policy Foundation vice president, believes that Californians may have actually led to Ted Cruz defeating Beto O'Rourke in 2018.

There was a very fascinating CNN exit poll… between Beto O’Rourke and Sen. Ted Cruz for the 2018 election. And what that poll found was that native Texans, about 60% of voters preferred O’Rourke by plus three. Now, Cruz won that race by a little more than two points. But the 40% of Texans who moved here, like, by the way, did Ted Cruz because he wasn’t born here, right? They preferred Cruz by plus 15. So if it wasn’t for the transplants who moved to Texas, that poll suggested that O’Rourke would be a senator.

Your thoughts

Do you believe the huge influx of Californians will turn Texas blue? Or do you believe they will have no impact and Beto will lose another election?

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