For over 100 years, the Democratic Party dominated the state of Texas. Bold and blue, the Lone Star State sent a Democratic son to the Oval Office and had congressional delegations and local legislatures blue across the board for the majority of the 20th century.

Beginning in the 1960s, the smell of blood was in the Texas waters as the state began to show first signs of red. As southern politics shifted right and an influx of conservatives settled in Texas, the GOP began to grow its tusks. By the late 1990s, Texas was painted red.

While Texas is still considered a conservative stronghold today, we put Resonate’s models to the test to see how strong the Republican grip really is.

We’ve recently seen shades of blue reappearing across Texas, but how much growth potential do they really have? And what should campaign strategists in Texas, Democrat and Republican, focus on heading into a consequential midterm election and beyond?

Independent Voters Can Decide the Political Future of Texas

Resonate’s voter data shows that Independent voters are positioned to dictate the political future of Texas. This represents an unbelievable persuasion opportunity for campaign strategists on both sides of the aisle.

Consider this: our models show registered voters identifying as Republicans outnumber those who identity as Democrats by 15%. This is in line with the 2016 presidential results where Trump bested Clinton by roughly 10%. However, what’s most indicative of the state’s landscape is self-identifying Independents now account for 29% of all voters in Texas.

When you combine self-identifying Third Party voters with Independents, this audience now accounts for 35% of all Texas voters.

 

February 12, 2018 Resonate Data on Texas Registered Voters – Political Affiliation Insight

The above data strongly suggests the path to victory in Texas can go right through the Independent vote. The ability to accurately identify and understand this audience, at scale, is crucial for campaigns either looking to keep Texas red or bring the blue back.

Eyes on Independents in 2018 Senate Election

Recent polls in the Texas U.S. Senate election this year have shown a tightening of the race. Some polls even show incumbent Republican, Ted Cruz, with a mere single-digit lead. While the senate candidates on both sides will need to turn out their sizeable statewide bases, the race for the Independent vote should have already started.

We built our models at Resonate to identify, understand and target niche audiences like Texas Independents in real time. A quick Resonate analysis of Texas Indies shows that when they’re compared to an average Texas voter, they are more likely to support:

  • Furthering pro-choice policies
  • Preventing unions from collecting dues from non-union employees
  • Cracking down on crime, which they see as the biggest threat to long-term U.S. interests
  • Legalizing marijuana

Bonus insight: 50% of all Texas Independents will choose a candidate based on their healthcare platform.

Texas is for the Taking

Whether it’s a statewide campaign like the U.S. Senate race or a competitive local election, strategists with a data-driven targeting strategy built to win Independents will be major players in deciding the political future of the great state of Texas.

If you’re interested in learning more on how to find and target niche independent voting blocs to drive your victory, contact Resonate at success@resonate.com.

About Resonate: Resonate combines the nation’s largest proprietary voter survey data with dynamic behavioral analysis to generate the most accurate, real-time insights and predictive modeling at scale. Our end-to-end data, analytics and digital media activation solution unifies strategy and action to drive campaign wins.