Texas Hispanics lean Democratic, but they are more likely to be Republican than Hispanics elsewhere in the country, according to a new Gallup poll.
Democrats hope that the state’s rapidly growing Hispanic population — now 38 percent of residents — will help them win the Republican-controlled state. But the poll suggests that the Lone Star State is likely to stay red.
“Texas remains a Republican-leaning state because its white residents are becoming increasingly Republican and its large Hispanic population, though solidly Democratic, is less so than Hispanics nationally,” the Gallup website says.
Texas Hispanics have become increasingly Republican since 2008, according to Gallup. In 2013, 27 percent of Texas Hispanics preferred the GOP, compared with 21 percent of Hispanics in other states, the largest gap in six years.
Among non-Hispanic white Texans, 61 percent identified as — or leaned — Republican, compared with 48 percent of non-Hispanic whites in other states.
The poll was based on telephone interviews with people across the country throughout 2013.
As groups such as Battleground Texas — founded by former Barack Obama national field organizer Jeremy Bird — seek to turn out Democratic voters in a state where the party hasn’t won statewide office in 20 years, they face a major obstacle in Hispanic voter participation.
Just 19 percent of Texas adults who said they were registered to vote are Hispanic, 13 percent are black and 64 percent are white, according to the poll.
“The biggest challenge for Democrats hoping to turn Texas blue may be in registering and turning out minority voters in that state,” Andrew Dugan of Gallup wrote on the polling organization’s website. “But the Democratic Party’s relatively poor standing with white Texans will continue to impede its ability to compete on a statewide basis for the foreseeable future.”