GOP Builds on Trump's Latino Gains in South Texas


donald trump walks and waves after speaking at the border wallPresident Donald Trump waves after speaking and touring a section of the border wall in Alamo, Texas on Jan. 12, 2021. (Mandel Ngan/AFP via Getty Images)

President Donald Trump's losses were not without victories, including narrow losses in three deep blue Texas Rio Grande Valley districts, giving the GOP a roadmap to overcoming the slight Democrat House majority in 2022.

Democrats sought to wrest control of Texas from Republicans, spending millions in 2020, but it only led to giving the GOP hope in the valley, putting scares into Democrat Texas Reps. Henry CuellarVicente Gonzalez, and Filemón Vela.

"I think it was a wake-up call for everybody," nine-term Rep. Henry Cuellar, D-Texas, told Politico. "Don't take border areas for granted. Don't take Hispanics for granted.

"It's been done for so many years. The Democratic Party has not paid attention to the Hispanic population."

Hillary Clinton won those districts from 17 to 22 points in 2016, but Trump cut those margins to just a few points in President Joe Biden's favor in 2020, the largest swings to the right among all Texas districts, per the report.

Texas is not only gaining a projected 3 House seats, but the Republican-held state legislatures are going to draw the battle lines in their favor.

"This wasn't about the Republican party or any Republican candidate; this was about Donald Trump," Rep. Gonzalez, who narrowly defeated an underfunded GOP challenger by less than 3 points, told Politico. "He was the rock star — I say in Spanish: lucha libre candidate, if you will — that Latinos love.

"They just love the excitement of having this character running for president. They had a four-year reality show. That could be very appealing to a certain segment of society and certainly a certain segment of the Latino community."



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