I spoke recently with Jill Ament of The Texas Standard, a statewide radio show, about the changing demographics in Texas and their impact on the future of Texas politics and government.
“All of these districts were closer than expected and it had a lot to do with the Beto factor, it had a lot to do with straight-party voting, and it also had something to do with long term trends of Texas politically,” says Brendan Steinhauser, an Austin-based Republican strategist.
Steinhauser says looking ahead, his party needs to be taking these close margins seriously because the battlegrounds of the future will be Texas’ suburban and urban areas.
“The demographic trends will continue, the enthusiasm on the left will not abate, and I think that Republicans will have an uphill battle and will have to fight for every last vote in 2020 and especially in the next election after that,” Steinhauser says.
How do Republicans in Texas plan to fight? That’s something Steinhauser says he and other people in his party are trying to figure out. He thinks one step could be moving away from divisive rhetoric and returning to a platform that’s focused on fiscal issues like keeping taxes low, and focusing on transportation, education and healthcare policy.
“These are principles that are well within in the Republican platform and well within the tea party, conservative idea of governance,” Steinhauser says.
Brendan Steinhauser is a national political strategist focused on campaigns, media, and public policy.