Second largest state in the nation in both population and size. Home of the Fourth and Fifth largest Metropolitan Statistical Areas as well as the Fourth, Seventh, and Ninth largest cities. As of the 2010 Census Texas is now a Majority-Minority state. According to the Census Texas has some of the fastest growing cities in the nation. (I love the Census - check this out.)
According to the Kinder Institute for Urban Research, the Anglo population in Harris County is older, page 21. This is happening across the State of Texas. If you have time look at all the research including the maps of the County from 1980 to 2010 as it changed demographically.
In Republican electoral politics, the mainstay of their national strategy hinges on a big "L" across the country. The cornerstone of that "L" is Texas. Now with 38 electoral votes, the GOP is LOST without Texas. Winning California is not an option anymore and neither is New York. The second prize of the Electoral College is Texas and it has been in the GOP camp forever.
Back in 2008, 3.5 million Texans voted for Pres. Obama. Texans donate money to out of state candidates. However that money doesn't come back. The Republicans have an overwhelming funding advantage in Texas.
Plenty has been made recently of the Texas GOP's platform. It mocks itself honestly. But with Texas changing demographically, the older Anglos which make up the GOP are desperate. Texas won't flip in 2012, but with dumbass Perry running for another term in 2014 and ACA implementation an issue, Dems need to start focusing on taking the Governor's Mansion and the Lt. Gov's job. (The Lt. Gov is more powerful than the Gov in Texas.)
There are too many House seats in Texas, 36, to write off the state. Yes it is very expensive. To start, perhaps Democrats should focus on the Texas Triangle, in concert with increasing participation in South Texas and the Border. It has to start somewhere. And while I would love to fight statewide, for now its a matter of bang for buck. 65% of the population is in the Triangle, and Dems have to try to get at least ONE Democrat elected statewide. I'm open to suggestions. But consider the policy implications of doing nothing: the text books that Texas buys are used across the country, idiots like Joe Barton are taken seriously, threats to public transportation funding from the fossil fuel set, and many more.
Texas has been transforming under the radar for years now. Conservative airheads - I'm looking at Rick Perry again - may seem like all that is here right now, but that is not the case. The urban areas have become highly cosmopolitan. Houston elected a lesbian mayor and Dallas County elected a lesbian sheriff. Harris County (Houston), Dallas County (Dallas), Bexar County (San Antonio), and Travis County (Austin) all went Democratic in 2008. Fort Bend County, a suburb of Houston, narrowly stayed Republican in 2008. These changes scare the crap out of the GOP.
However, Democrats must stay true to the 50 State strategy and focus on ACA and its benefits in 2014. 2012 is all about the Swing States. But if Democrats really want to hurt the GOP, then they have to start thinking about Texas. At one point the Democrats had a statewide bench, but that fell apart in the late Nineties. Even old Democratic family names like Bentsen and Hobby don't get much traction anymore. In many ways it is like starting over.
Texas has millions of Democrats. What Texas needs now is to find ways to maximize what resources we have and find a message that will resonate with the casual Republican voter - the one who always votes that way just because. Want to send panic through the GOP National Committee? Imagine these words being announced, "Texas has elected a statewide Democrat for the first time since 1994."