I was tabulating election data with the numbers currently available. Like the rest of Texas, my local precincts are seeing unprecedented increases in voter turnout — one town’s numbers have jumped by 64 percent over the 2012 General Election.
Early voting started Monday, so there’s only three days’ worth of data available.
Now, I’m not exactly getting excited by those numbers. The next town over has only seen an increase of 40 percent these last three days compared to the same period of early voting in 2012.
What’s the difference between these two towns?
The one with the larger increase in turnout is primarily white and very affluent. It also has half the population of the town with the 40 percent increase, which is made up of primarily lower-middle class to poor working class Latinos.
So, at first blush, even though precincts across the state are seeing increased numbers of registered voters at the polls, it appears (at least anecdotally and hyper locally), that Latinos are still turning out in lesser numbers percentage-wise. That’s bad news for those who hope Texas will turn purple, or even blue.
I live in a region that historically votes Democrat simply because of the sheer number of Latinos that exist here. I’m afraid that the electorate will indeed shift — to red.
In recent months, I’ve heard a growing number of people speaking out in support of Trump. Those people aren’t always white, either.
An uneducated and impoverished population is just as likely to be drawn to the idea of an “outsider” who promises change when it’s been dealing with rampant poverty and government corruption for so many decades that the lines are blurred when it comes to figuring who’s at fault.
For instance, many people here lament the failure of Obamacare and blame Democrats for that. Yes, Obamacare has many large, unwieldy issues, but a large portion of those issues wouldn’t exist if: 1. Republicans hadn’t stripped the legislation of most of its power before finally passing a crippled version of it in 2010, and 2. Governors Rick Perry and Greg Abbott hadn’t repeatedly denied both ACA marketplaces and Medicaid expansions in the state.
For those living paycheck to paycheck, or worse, and who have little knowledge or experience outside this region, it’s easy to lay the blame at the feet of a candidate who is a household name.
Anyway, I’m apprehensive and less optimistic about this election than most people I know. And I needed to rant for a bit. Thank you for indulging me, GT.