Julian and Joaquin Castro–the Mayor of San Antonio and freshman Democratic congressman–are two of the rising stars in the Democratic Party, but they’re also aiming to change the state they call home.
Encouraged by census data showing that Latinos will outnumber whites in the Lone Star state by 2030, the two are part of a broader effort to pry Texas and its 38 Electoral Votes out of the Republican column. Texas has voted Republican in every presidential election since 1980 and hasn’t elected a Democrat statewide since the mid-nineties–the longest running streak of any state in the nation.
In a profile of the twins in this month’s Vogue, entitled “Pair of Aces,” chairman of the Slate group Jacob Weisberg writes that the twins will play a big part in the shaping of Texas politics in the coming years.
“I resist the idea of Demographic inevitability,” Weisberg said Monday on NOW with Alex Wagner. “I think there are these long-term shifts which do favor Democrats in general, but it depends on how extreme the Republicans decide to be. If they’re going to be a Tea Party-dominated party i think it’s going to be a lot easier for the Democrats and it’s going to be a lot easier for the Democrats if they have talented candidates like the Castro brothers.”
Texas Democrats face two big hurdles in their quest. The first is low voter participation. Of the 4.1 million Hispanics registered to vote in Texas, only half routinely show up at the polls. The second problem is Democrats’ weak campaign infrastructure in a state long dominated by Republicans.
The Castro brothers are looking to change that within the next six-to eight-years.
“I think the timeline is a little bit longer than a lot of Democrats hope it is,” former RNC Chairman Michael Steele said.
Democrats face an uphill climb, but over time, the numbers are on their side.
“The long-term math doesn’t bode well for Republicans in Texas,” New York City Deputy Mayor Howard Wolfson said. “If Republicans can’t fix their Latino problem, increasingly it’s going to play out in Texas politics.”