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Could the Hispanic vote affect who wins Texas?

The research director with Texas Politics Project says both parties know the Hispanic vote makes them competitive in Texas.

AUSTIN, Texas — When it comes to the white electorate, Texas is "overwhelmingly Republican," according to Joshua Blank, the research director of the Texas Politics Project over at the University of Texas. 

Blank said Democrats in the state have moved from appealing to moderate, White voters and have focused more on mobilizing Democratic-leaning Hispanics. 

"Texas is a majority-minority state, and Hispanics make up the largest minority population in the state, and it's also a population that continues to grow and will continue to grow into the future," said Blank. "Ultimately, Republicans for a long time have known and Democrats have always known that to either become competitive or remain competitive in Texas requires appealing to a large share of Hispanic voters."    

Blank said because Texas is such a large state, the Hispanic vote isn't the sole focus, however, he said it is still a "prized group among both Democrats and Republicans when it comes to their hopes for winning elections."

He went on to say that all of the focus on Hispanics reflects an unrealistic expectation. 

"Which is that people tend to think that Hispanics as a group in Texas are much more Democratic than they are. And we know from recent polling, but also really decade-plus of polling, that Hispanics tend to favor Republican candidates," said Blank. "At least between 30 and 45% of Hispanics tend to favor Republican candidates' policies and positions."

Blank said this does depend on the election and on the candidates. 

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