Looking ahead to the new year is a challenging thing to do in politics. In fact, all prognostications tend to be that way.
We have looked high and low for the clearest crystal ball in the entire realm of Texas. Given the caliber of his work, it should come as no surprise that Ross Ramsey has been hoarding it all this time.
Ramsey, executive editor and co-founder of the Texas Tribune, gave us his predictions for Texas and the presidential season ahead. He says many predictions, including his own, have been off this year and the Republicans in particular have been “surprising.”
“A lot of people predicted at the very beginning of this, including me, that the brand names would control this election,” he says. “That this would eventually come down to Bush and Clinton and you could use the same bumper stickers you’ve been using for the last two decades.”
Bush hasn’t run a good campaign, he says, and the top three Republicans – in Ramsey’s order – are Cruz, Trump and Rubio.
“Ted Cruz runs very disciplined, very careful campaigns,” he says. “All the nuts and bolts of politics seem to be going his way right now. I wouldn’t be surprised to see him finish first.”
Big names from both parties have come through Texas in 2015: Clinton has posted strong campaign donations from Texas and Cruz has been making stops all over the South. Ramsey says he thinks Republicans will “sweep” the South but Democrats have done well in the region with money. Some swing states like Florida are up for grabs, he says.
In 2015, we saw the rise of “His-pandering” to court Latino voters. Is it possible that demographic can become a deal-breaker, or deal-winner, in 2016?
“I think this is one of the things that we’ll see in the rearview mirror, not out of the windshield,” he says. “You can see the demographics in Texas… 52 percent of the kids in our public schools are Hispanic. That’s the future of the state. But that’s the demographics of populations and not the demographics of elections.”
So far, Latinos haven’t voted in proportions that reflect its place in the general population. Ramsey says sooner or later, we’re bound to have an election where Latino voters make a significant showing. But that prediction has been around for two decades, he says.
Listen to the full interview in the audio player above.