President Obama's 2012 re-election campaign manager, Jim Messina, said his team is considering making a "serious play" for Texas and its 38 electoral votes next year. In 2008, Obama lost the state to John McCain by 12 percentage points, and no Dem has held a major statewide office in years. But some Democratic strategists see Texas' booming, restless Latino population as a sign that this imposingly red state could one day turn blue. Is Obama really going to commit the $15 million to $25 million needed for a serious bid in Texas — and would he even stand a chance?
It depends which Republican he's facing: Obama has an uphill battle to beat a generic Republican in Texas, says Glenn Thrush at Politico. "But that disadvantage is reduced considerably if the GOP nominee happens to be one Mitt Romney." Romney may be the GOP frontrunner, but Texas Republicans aren't enthusiastic about the former blue-state governor with hefty health care baggage. And the state's Baptists and Catholics may not love Romney's Mormonism.
"Obama, Romney, and Texas"
Obama will never win Texas: This is just a pipe dream, says Bryan Preston in Pajamas Media. "Obama can spend a mint in the Lone Star state next year, and he probably will," but it won't buy him victory. Texans are overwhelmingly libertarian-conservative, and we don't like the Democrats' agenda any more than we like Obama. And as for banking on the Latino vote, forget it. "Texas Hispanics skew more conservative than white Texans."
"Will Obama make a play... or is he just messing with Texas?"
Fighting for Texas could help Obama bag other swing states: "Obama has little chance of winning Texas in 2012," says Tom Curry at MSNBC, but making a big play for the state could pay dividends with "a much wider audience of Latinos" in states like Arizona, Colorado, Nevada, and Virginia. There's a "trove of millions of eligible but unregistered Latinos" that watch Spanish-language news. If they're convinced Obama is serious about them, he might just tip the balance in a few Latino-heavy swing states.
"Obama visits Texas, but eyes larger Latino vote outside state"
THE WEEK'S AUDIOPHILE PODCASTS: LISTEN SMARTER
- 43 TV shows to watch in 2014
- How to be the most productive person in your office — and still get home by 5:30 p.m.
- Ted Cruz is the new Sarah Palin
- Watch out, China — America is working on dogfighting drones
- How liberals are unwittingly paving the way for the legalization of adult incest
- How the Simpsons/Family Guy crossover revealed the worst of both shows
- 6 things the happiest families all have in common
- Libertarianism's terrible, horrible, no good, very bad idea
Subscribe to the Week