Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush speaks on stage with student Frantz Placide (L) of Miami, FL during the final day of the Republican National Convention at the Tampa Bay Times Forum on August 30, 2012 in Tampa, Florida. (Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images)

Jeb Bush believes Texas will be “blue” by 2016

A lot can change in just four years.

For former Florida Governor Jeb Bush a four-year timetable is enough for a significant shift for the Republican party. He tells Joe Hagan of New York magazine: “It’s a math question. Four years from now, Texas is going to be a so-called blue state. Imagine Texas as a blue state, how hard it would be to carry the presidency or gain control of the Senate.”

Hagan starts the article for New York magazine with this idea that  Texas’ rapidly changing demographic will unfavorably affect the Republican party.  He writes:

“Sitting down across from me, [Jeb] assumes his role as party Cassandra, warning of the day when the Republicans’ failure to tap an exploding Hispanic population will cripple its chances at reclaiming power—starting in Texas, the family seat of the House of Bush.”

If this is a problem for the Republican party, Hagan believes Bush is just the solution: “a popular two-time governor of a Hispanic-heavy state, with a record of improving education for minorities, fluent in Spanish, married to a Latina, and father to two Hispanic sons, George P. Bush and Jeb Jr. By Jeb Bush’s own calculus, Jeb Bush would make a great presidential candidate.”

Dr. Victoria DeFrancesco Soto, a contributor for NBC Latino and MSNBC, doesn’t agree with Bush’s timetable. “Do I think it is going to happen in 15 years sure, but in four years no? Latinos are notorious for low voter turnout so even though they are large in numbers they do not come out to vote.”  DeFrancesco Soto believes Bush is trying to send a message to the GOP leadership to take the growing Latino population seriously and so they can intensify their Latino outreach.

Raul L. Madrid, Associate Professor in the Department of Government at the University of Texas at Austin, says four years is very unlikely, giving three reasons: “First, many fewer Latinos than Anglos are eligible to vote in Texas because the Latino population is younger and includes more non-citizens. Secondly, Latinos who are eligible to vote register and turn out to vote in lower numbers than eligible Anglos; and finally Anglos in Texas vote Republican at much higher rates than Latinos vote Democrat,” he explains.  “So, you would actually need more Latino voters than Anglo voters in order to turn Texas into a blue state.”

In response to the article, Jeb Bush sent a letter to the editor of New York magazine stating that the published article is “full of inaccuracies” about him and his family. He did not however deny his “four years” comment.

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