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Lexington: Demography is not destiny

IF REPUBLICANS do not do better among Hispanics, Senator Ted Cruz of Texas has argued, in a few years his home state could turn Democratic. And if Texas, with its haul of 38 electoral college votes, joins other large states such as New York and California as a Democratic bastion, then “no Republican will ever again win the White House”. Mr Cruz, a conservative firebrand elected in 2012, likes lobbing verbal grenades. But his analysis is not contested on the left or right. Texas could soon be up for grabs. Two dates and a pair of cities encapsulate the battle that looms.The first date is 2020, when Hispanics are on course to represent the largest single group in the Texas population, becoming a majority about a decade later. That is ominous for Republicans: in the 2012 presidential election, their man secured just 27% of Latino votes nationwide. True, Mitt Romney was a hard sell in 21st-century America: a board-stiff New England millionaire running as an immigration hawk. But the challenge facing Republicans is larger than one duff candidate. In his Senate race, Mr Cruz, a youthful Cuban-American albeit one with self-described “lousy” Spanish, won only about 35% of the…

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