Perhaps borrowing a page from the Dallas Cowboys playbook, our fine state may be ready to change its Lone Star to blue. (Butchered metaphor? Perhaps, but I stand by it.)
We received our fresh clean shiny new copy of Texas Monthly on Saturday with a very craggy Willie Nelson on the cover. He’s still going strong no doubt. We should probably go ahead and institute a monarchy and crown him King of Texas.
But what caught my eye were not Willie’s weathered hands (OK, those caught my eye as well), but Paul Burka’s column asking if Texas is about to be a Democratic state again? (Almost Blue, May 2008). Fascinating to even ponder the question.
Burka notes that there were scads more Democratic voters in the March primary than Republicans in several key counties including Dallas, Tarrant, Harris, Collin, and Denton. And there were just about as many total voters in the primary as there were in the 2004 general election.
Of course Dallas county Dems swept out the Republicans last year, in what has been considered the first possible sign of a realignment. Even competent smart officeholders were not spared (paging Margaret Keliher, we miss you!) if they had an R next to their name.
There has been quite a bit of speculation that some of the strong numbers in the Democratic primary came from cynical and insincere Republicans who were trying to extend the Democratic primary as long as possible by voting for Senator Clinton. Burka thankfully notes that the numbers do not seem to bear this out.
Is Texas becoming a blue state again? Not even King Willie knows, but we’ll find out in November (watch out Sen. Cornyn!)