by Alex Gonzalez
Wendy Davis lost 26 of Texas’ 254 counties to Ray Madrigal in Democrat primary for governor, in mostly heavily Hispanic counties in the Rio Grande Valley and South Texas. Those counties included the largest county in the Lower Rio Grande, Hidalgo, as well as Webb County. Republicans saw this Hispanic vote in South Texas as a repudiation of Davis’ pro-choice views. The expectation among Republicans was that this was a solid evidence that Latino voters could vote against any Democrat with pro-choice views. Or did Latinos voted for a Latino candidate over the “Anglo” candidate?
I looked at the results from last Tuesday from those counties that voted “against” Davis in the primaries. The question was whether these counties that are predominantly Hispanic, in fact, would vote against any candidates with pro-choice views, even if it was a Hispanic one. If GOP strategists were correct, Hispanic voters in those counties should have still voted the same way against Leticia Van De Putte who holds the same pro-choice views as Wendy Davis does. see counties by name here>
However, the majority of these counties, in fact, voted for Van De Putte over Patrick, especially the Rio Grade Valle (RGV). What the results from these counties shows is that, in south Texas, Latino voters are more likely to vote for Hispanic candidate over the “Anglo” candidate, regardless of pro-chose views.
Moreover, if we look the results from 4 counties in South Texas with the biggest voter registration, Van De Putte won 3 out 4 counties by about 60 percent.
Dan Patrick did win in Nueces County with 51.2 percent and he also won in 8 counties in south western region–just before El Paso. But these counties have a very small voter registration. For example, the combined voter registration of those counties where Davis lost against Madrigal but voted for Patrick is about 40,000, whereas El Paso County alone has over 400,000 registered voters.
Thus, Hispanic voters in south Texas, counties with large voter registration still preferred a Latino candidate. It is possible that Patrick won in some of those counties thanks to Greg Abbott’s strong campaign in South Texas (RGV) to woo Latinos, in a Republican straight-ticket, where many Latinos did favor Abbott over Wendy Davis by 44 percent.
Alex Gonzalez is a political Analyst and Political Director for Latinos Ready To Vote! comments to firstname.lastname@example.org