Texas GOP bets on hard right turn amid changing demographics

Texas GOP bets on hard right turn amid changing demographics

Texas Gov Greg Abbott and State Sen. Bryan Hughes, R-Mineola, shake hands after Abbott signed Senate Bill 1, also known as the election integrity bill, into law in Tyler, Texas, Tuesday, Sept. 7, 2021. The sweeping bill signed Tuesday by the two-term Republican governor further tightens Texas’ strict voting laws. AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — Republicans in America’s largest conservative state for years racked up victories under the slogan “Keep Texas Red,” a pledge to quash a coming blue wave that Democrats argued was inevitable given shifting demographics. Now, those population transformations have arrived, with the 2020 census confirming that the state got bigger, more suburban and far more diverse. Yet a more apt state GOP rallying cry for today might be “Make Texas Even Redder.” Faced with increasingly dire demographic threats to their party’s dominance, Texas Republicans have championed a bevy of boundary-pushing conservative policymaking that dramatically expands gun rights, curbs abortions and tightens election laws — steering a state that was already far to the right even more so. Far from tiptoeing toward the middle to appease the Democratic-leaning Texans driving population growth, the party is embracing its base and vowing to use a new round of redistricting to ensure things stay that way through 2030 — becoming a national model for staying on the offensive no matter how political winds may eventually shift. “Texas, obviously, is a national leader as it concerns the laws that we pass and other states follow,” Republican Gov. Greg Abbott, who is […]

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