3 factors affecting Texas’ political landscape
Is Texas truly turning liberal? Short answer, yes.
The Lone Star State was already purple in 2020, with all fingers pointing to the unemployment rate as the main culprit, but not in a way you’d imagine.
Houston, we have a serious problem.
Texas was blue as a blueberry when the Apollo 13 astronaut John Swigert pinged NASA’s Mission Control with the famous statement, “Houston, we have a problem.”
The year was 1970, and President Richard Nixon lost Texas to his runner-up Hubert Humphrey only two years earlier. Texas was a Democratic stronghold at the time, and historically, it had been the Democratic fort for almost a century, only occasionally flirting with Republican nominees.
However, in the following years, Nixon briefly overturned Texas before fleeing White House, and then Jimmy Carter reclaimed the stronghold.
President Carter couldn’t stop the windows of change. Slowly but surely, the Lone Star State turned red, and Jimmy Carter became the last known Democrat to win Texas in presidential elections.
Historically, Texas voted Democrat 27 times, compared to Republican 15 times, of which Republicans uninterruptedly enjoyed the past 11 elections.
Who will the Lone Star State vote for in the upcoming elections?
3 Factors That Are Turning Texas Blue
1. Texas is an exciting new silicone playground for tech workers.
Entrepreneurs are adding jobs to Texas markets amid the pandemic. Texas unemployment rate is falling from April’s high of 13.5% and currently holding at 7.1% in February 2021. Contrary to Texas, California’s Unemployment rate surged in December 2020.
The new jobs probably won’t be an issue in the upcoming elections, but workers may swing the vote.
Startups attract young and liberal tech workers who are flocking Silicon Hills, a nickname for the hilly terrain of West Austin that is home to more than 5,500 up-and-coming tech companies.
Austin is the fastest-growing major metropolitan area in the country. Hundred and fifty people move to Austin every day on average, with the majority coming from California. Young Californians bring the social perspective with them, increasingly talking about left politics.
“We had 7 families from California, they didn’t know each other, but one weekend they came at the same time looking at different homes,” one real estate agent shared with Kens 5 News about the Kendall County near San Antonio.
Young tech workers and tech entrepreneurs are usually perceived as affluent and liberal. California is a strong synonym for liberal policies. Putting two and two together and adding the exodus of Californians to Texas, it’s fair to assume that Texas may see more Democratic voters in the upcoming elections.
Texans are not amused with the latest developments, often quoted saying, “don’t California My Texas.”
2. Top celebrities promote life in Texas
Joe Rogan, arguably the most popular podcast host, moved to Texas in 2020. He openly talks about his reasons for escaping California. Elon Musk, Tim Ferriss, Ross Perot Jr., and even the Queer Eye Five have recently moved to Texas.
Tim Ferriss, an ultimate child of Silicon Valley, found new life in San Francisco to become “closed-minded” and moved to Austin in 2017.
Elon Musk is launching his rockets from Texas, creating an ultimate spectacle for everyone that loves spaceships and state-of-the-art technology. “Frankly, this is the final straw. Tesla will now move to Texas/Nevada immediately,” said Musk in his public pushback against California’s officials.
Joe Rogan beams at every opportunity to talk about Texas in his top-rated podcast. He’s publically criticizing California’s officials and boasts about his new life in Texas, which includes lower taxes and more liberty.
Top celebrities publicly promoting Texas make for a long list, one that is ambitious to cover in a single story. In short, folk is moving to Texas, and they love it.
3. Deadly handling of state affairs during the February Icy Storm leaves many questioning their allegiance.
Call everyone whom you once said, “I’ll apologize when hell freezes over.”
Texas is not hell, but for many, the Lone Star State is just as hot. Texas froze over last week amid the poor governance of the right-wing officials. Four million people had no electricity on Wednesday, and almost seven million were under boil water advisory.
The government officials decided it’s time for poolside Margaritas and some good ol’ Democrat-blaming games.
Senator Ted Cruz got the nickname #FleedCruz, for attempting to take a vacation in Cancun while his constituents froze to death. Tim Boyd, a now ex-major of Colorado City, told his residents to “fend for themselves” before resigning duty on Tuesday. And finally, Governor Greg Abbot blamed it all on Democrats.
Many are not buying the sincerity of Republican leaders, thinking they’re becoming extremely complacent and detached from reality.
Texas shines true American colors as an international hub for young workers.
Texas is a place where you can mingle with conservatives, liberals, and people outside your bubble. Many see the excitement in the up-and-coming tech factors, while others feel like it’s time for a change.
Texas is even appealing for Europeans relocating to America. Low taxes, California’s exodus, and disastrous handling of state affairs may just turn Texas blue in the upcoming elections.
Texas's falling unemployment rate offers a glimpse into the political change underway in the Lone Star State. Liberal minds are bringing in the jobs and their famed celebrities from California, slowly turning Texas blue.