Border crisis, economy pushing Hispanics to GOP in historically deep blue South Texas

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Republican political operatives, candidates and elected officials tell Fox News Digital that the trend of Hispanic voters leaning toward the Republican Party is changing the political landscape in Texas and making the GOP relevant in counties along the southern border that have been Democratic strongholds for decades.

A Marist NPR Poll published last week shows that 52% of Hispanic voters would prefer a Republican candidate to a Democratic candidate in November’s midterm and Wayne Hamilton, who leads Project Red Texas, told Fox News Digital that the polling trend is very evident in the Texas thanks to the ongoing border crisis and the Democratic Party taking Hispanic voters in southern Texas for granted.

Migrants are seen at the Rio Grande near the Del Rio-Acuna Port of Entry in Del Rio, Texas on September 18, 2021.
(International Bridge, whPhoto by Charlie C. Peebles/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images)

HOW REPUBLICANS WIN OVER HISPANIC VOTERS IN TEXAS: ‘DEMOCRATIC POLICIES FAIL THEM’

South Texas is as diverse a place as you can imagine and say that because someone has a Hispanic last name, they’re a Democrat, like most people outside of Texas and most of the media, c It’s just blatantly racist, Hamilton told Fox. Digital News. “Hispanics are individuals. They think for themselves.”

Thinking for themselves, Hamilton says, is why former President Trump saw an increase in support from Hispanics in Texas in 2020 compared to 2016, largely due to crime stemming from illegal immigration that plagued border counties in southern Texas where 90% of voters are Hispanic.

“What’s happening is people are seeing the chaos that the Democrats have caused on both sides of the border by the crazy policies that they have,” Hamilton said.

Hamilton says Republicans are increasingly active in Texas competing in areas where Democrats have previously governed unopposed. Project Red Texas backed 54 candidates four years ago compared to 135 candidates now, Hamilton says.

Judge Dale Lynn Carruthers, a Republican who serves as a judge in Terrell County, Texas, along the border, told Fox News Digital that the crime and economic strain caused by the border crisis are converting Democrats to Republicans in the south texas.

Border Patrol agents on horseback.  (Fox News/Bill Melugin)
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Border Patrol agents on horseback. (Fox News/Bill Melugin)

“The transition for people who actually go from blue to red has a lot to do with tough open border policies and what we’re going through right now,” said Carruthers, a rancher whose grandfather immigrated to the United States. United from Mexico. “Nobody wants their garden to be invaded. Nobody wants their property to be invaded.

TEXAS EARLY VOTING DATA SUGGESTS HISPANIC VOTE CHANGE TO GOP CONTINUES

Carruthers said high-speed chases between police and illegal immigrants on the highway that runs through his county are common, as is property damage to ranches like his along the border.

“Nobody wants to walk into your yard and see complete strangers thinking they have a right to take and do whatever they want on your property,” Carruthers said. “No matter your culture, nobody wants that.”

Carruthers added that the lack of border security, along with soaring inflation and rising gas prices, is causing members of his community who don’t typically vote to register to vote in as Republicans.

Like Hamilton, Carruthers said she’s noticed the enthusiasm for Republicans on the ground in South Texas and thinks the party’s focus on helping working families has resonated with voters. hispanics.

“I’ve just seen a stronger presence and a sense of pride from the GOP because, number one, they’re literally standing up for family values,” Carruthers said. There is no reason for the family to suffer financially, suffer the insecurity of worrying if someone is going to invade your property or your well-being. And when you compare the parties in this respect, it is clear that one is actually promoting and creating the crisis.”

Ivan Andarza, spokesman for Hispanic Republicans in Texas, told Fox News he’s also seen Hispanics flock to the GOP in recent years, but attributes much of the change to the popularity of former President Donald Trump. and says that will be a key factor. to see if Hispanics in Texas vote for Republicans in the upcoming midterms without Trump on the ballot.

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In 2016, Trump lost the southern Texas border counties from Cameron, Hidalgo, Starr, Zapata, and Webb to Hillary Clinton by wide margins. Four years later, Trump became the first Republican since Reconstruction to win Zapata County and came within five points of winning Starr County where he lost by 60 points in 2016.

Additionally, the Republican share of primary votes in the recent 2022 primary jumped up in the four southernmost counties in Texas compared to 2018 in double digits in each county.

Andarza says Trump had a ‘huge’ effect on strong Republican numbers in border regions and thinks Republicans can be successful again if they can nationalize middlemen and make President Biden’s policies, including the border , The main problem.

“They live it every day,” Andarza said of residents of border towns who are negatively affected by illegal immigration. “They see the immigration policy disaster, especially now with Title 42 and the potential influx of new migrants that will put a strain on local communities. It’s a local taxpayer expense.”

Andarza agreed with Hamilton’s belief that South Texas Republicans are under stress and said there is more outside money coming into local races than there has been in the past.

“In this last election, when Trump showed up and everyone saw the potential in Texas, it helped focus a lot of resources in that area,” Andarza said. “It has helped enormously enthusiastically and there is a feeling that it can be done and national donors are seeing it now.”

Maria Yvette Hernandez, a Republican candidate for the bench in Starr County, Texas, is one of many Hispanic candidates seeking public office in response to what she perceives as Democratic corruption at the federal and federal levels. local.

In my particular county, our sitting Democrats have been in public office for over 20 years, some of them even 40,” Hernandez told Fox News Digital.

Those Democratic politicians, Hernandez said, took the Hispanic vote for granted.

I think a lot of the misconception is that we [Hispanics] are Democrats because we are poor,” Hernandez said. “They associate the fact that we’re in a very low-income county with thinking that’s why we vote Democrat. But it’s our conservative values ​​where our culture, in essence, is conservative in nature. And they all assume we’re Democrats because of per capita income and that’s not necessarily the case.”

In addition to the border situation, Hernandez says the economy and inflation are pushing Republicans in border areas to the polls.

A sticker of President Joe Biden is placed on a gas pump at an Exxon station on March 9, 2022 in Lakewood, Colorado.

A sticker of President Joe Biden is placed on a gas pump at an Exxon station on March 9, 2022 in Lakewood, Colorado.
(RJ Sangosti/MediaNews Group/The Denver Post via Getty Images)

According to a Quinnipiac survey in April, Biden’s approval rating with Hispanics sits at 26%, with the majority of Hispanic voters saying inflation and border security are the two issues they are most concerned about.

“We respect the law, we care about our safety, we care about our economy, we love our country,” said Republican judiciary nominee for the Texas Thirteenth District Court of Appeals Aaron Peña, who changed his party affiliation from Democrat to Republican in 2010, Told Fox News Digital earlier this year. “And everything the current Democratic Party stands for is contrary to that.”

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