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March 22, 2013


How Rick Perry Could Turn Texas Blue

Ron Brownstein says Texas Gov. Rick Perry's (R) decision not to expand Medicaid (unlike other GOP governors) could be what ultimately hands Texas to the Democrats.

"Rejecting the federal money might not pose an immediate political threat to Texas Republicans, whose coalition revolves around white voters responsive to small-government arguments. But renouncing the money represents an enormous gamble for Republicans with the growing Hispanic community, which is expected to approach one-third of the state's eligible voters in 2016. Hispanics would benefit most from expansion because they constitute 60 percent of the state's uninsured. A jaw-dropping 3.6 million Texas Hispanics lack insurance."

He concludes: "In 1994, California Republican Gov. Pete Wilson mobilized his base by promoting Proposition 187, a ballot initiative to deny services to illegal immigrants. He won reelection that year--and then lost the war as Hispanics stampeded from the GOP and helped turn the state lastingly Democratic."












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