Friday, June 01, 2018
Texas Hispanics Are Split -- O'Rourke Must Change That
The chart above represents the results of a new Quinnipiac University Poll of the race for the U.S. Senate in Texas. They surveyed 951 Texas voters between May 23rd and 29th, and the survey has a 3.8 point margin of error.
The poll shows that Beto O'Rourke has a lot of ground to make up before November if he's going to beat incumbent Ted Cruz. Currently, he trails Cruz by 11 points (39% to 50%). O'Rourke is not doing as well as expected among women (trailing by 2 points) or young voters (leading by only 5 points). He needs to correct that. He cannot win without a large urban vote, female vote, and youth vote -- all significantly in his favor.
But even if he gets those three groups, he will fail without one more group voting heavily for him -- Hispanics. And right now, that's not happening. O'Rourke trails Cruz among Hispanics by 2 points (445 to 46%). If that's the way the Hispanic vote comes in on election day, O'Rourke will lose.
Frankly, I am amazed that O'Rourke is not leading by a large margin among Hispanics. Both candidates are half-Hispanic and half-White. Cruz was born in Canada of a Cuban father and White American mother. O'Rourke was born and Raised in El Paso of an Irish-American father and a Mexican mother. And O'Rourke speaks fluent Spanish, while Cruz does not. With most Texas Hispanics being of Mexican descent, one would have thought that O'Rourke could easily dominate among Hispanics.
Is this a product of most not knowing O'Rourke, and judging him by his Irish last name -- while Cruz carries a Hispanic last name? It could be. O'Rourke needs to fix this. He needs to convince Texas Hispanics that he is one of them, and that he will pursue policies that will benefit them far more than Cruz will. And he has 5 months to do that.
Beating Cruz was always a fairly long shot, with Texas still being a fairly strong red state. But it becomes impossible if O'Rourke cannot dominate the vote among Hispanics.