2016 Archives

Turning Red: How Texas became a GOP stronghold


The following is from the Sept. z, 2016, edition of The Houston Chronicle. SMU Political Science Professor Cal Jillson provided expertise for this story.

September 13, 2016

By Brett Barrouquere

Texas is fertile ground for the Republican Party these days - and an electoral desert for Democrats. The reverse was once true.

From statehood in 1845 through the mid-1960s, to be a Republican in Texas was to be a lost soul in the political desert. Then, with the signing of the Civil Rights Act in 1964 (by President Lyndon B. Johnson - a Texan), things began to change.

"It convinced Anglo conservatives that the Democratic Party was no longer a comfortable home," said SMU political scientist Cal Jilson. . .

The Pew Research Center projects a large growth in Hispanic residents in Texas over the next three-plus decades. That's a group Republicans have had a tough time with in recent elections.

But, it may be a while before Democrats want to focus on Texas as a swing state in national elections.

"Competitive two party politics in Texas are a couple of decades out, at least," Jilson said.

Read the full story.