Here to give the Democratic perspective after last night’s election: former State Sen. Wendy Davis, who led the 11-hour filibuster heard round the nation and mounted a bid for governor in 2014; former State Sen. Leticia Van de Putte, who famously ran with Davis in 2014; and former Houston Mayor Annise Parker.
Van de Putte says she tracked women, Latino, and millennial votes throughout the evening and noticed some differences in how Texans are starting to vote.
“You know, Donald Trump certainly won the presidency and yet did not carry Texas by the same sort of margins that Republicans normally do,” she says. “So I think you’re beginning to see a real change in demographic [voting] that will just increase in years to come.”
Parker says she also believes there is a change happening.
“I still think it’s a red state and is going to be red still for a few years – but clearly the demographic tide is turning towards the Democrats,” she says.
Davis cites the strong differences between Texas’ urban and rural communities for the possible shift and says Democrats in Texas will have to reevaluate, but not the same way Republicans did in 2012.
“I don’t think that Democrats are going to find themselves in the same position that Republicans did [in 2012] – when I say that I mean that Republicans, of course, had to look at the alienation of growing segments of the population,” she says. “What we’ve failed to recognize are the growing fears of white voters in this country. But that’s a much more difficult tightrope to walk because many of those fears are fears that are based on people’s discriminatory impulses. And I don’t see Democrats deciding that that’s something we ought to play into as well.”