A Shift in South Texas

Why Hispanics are voting with the GOP

Texas Republicans have been at work to gain ground in South Texas, a heavily Hispanic region that historically leans Democratic. Despite being a Red State, South Texas has been a Democrat stronghold for decades, but recent Radical Democratic policies regarding the border, economy, and energy have led to a shift towards the GOP in the region.

This trend became evident in the 2020 elections, with the New York Times even citing Zapata County as “an example of how the region is getting redder” — along with Monica de la Cruz’s victory in the 2022 elections, making her the first Republican to win the 15th Congressional District seat since 1903.

In the State House, Hispanic Republicans now hold three seats in South Texas, including the first GOP member from the Lower Rio Grande Valley — Janie Lopez (R-San Benito), who is also the second ever Hispanic Republican woman to serve in the House.

A recent poll conducted by Associated Republicans of Texas in conjunction with Project Red TX and Texans for Responsible Government, found that 48% of South Texas voters view the GOP favorably and 44% unfavorably, while 47% of South Texans view the Democratic Party favorably and 46% unfavorably. This is something that ART President Jamie McWright said “marks a significant improvement” for the GOP in South Texas.

The poll also found that 42% of Hispanic Texans view the GOP favorably, up from previous years. South Texans who support the GOP appreciate their focus on border security, conservative values, and competent governing.

Immigration and border security were the top issues for South Texas Hispanics, who are dealing with the weight of rampant illegal immigration on their communities and social services. Jobs and the economy were also important, particularly in counties where oil and gas jobs are prevalent and workers fear that Democrats will kill their high-paying jobs.

Looking ahead to the 2024 presidential race, 43% of South Texans prefer a generic Republican, while 45% prefer a Democrat. However, the nominee will play a crucial role, as former President Trump trails President Biden in South Texas with 43% to 49% , while Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis leads with 47% to 43%.

Overall, Democratic policies regarding the border, economy, and energy have created a shift towards the GOP in South Texas, with many voters in South Texas appreciating the party’s stance on border security, conservative values, and competent governing.

“We are proud of the progress Republicans have made in South Texas, and with Hispanics around the state,” McWright said. “ART is committed to fighting for the pro-business values that matter to Texans of all backgrounds – secure communities to raise your children in and a strong economy to earn a living.”