Texas and the 2016 Elections

Texas is a red state and plays an important role during the elections.  This year is no different – there are a lot of issues which will make the 2016 elections an interesting time.  The Hispanic voter base has expanded and every presidential hopeful has to engage them if they hope to win.  Of course, Texas has at least two contenders for the Republican nomination – former Governor Rick Perry and Senator Ted Cruz.

Rick Perry campaigned in 2012 and withdrew for a number of reasons.  He threw his hat in the ring yet again for 2016 only to suspend his presidential campaign. One of the reasons his campaign was unsuccessful yet again was public memory of his spectacular missteps and tarnished image.  Senator Ted Cruz is still in the running – as the only Hispanic candidate in a wide field, everyone is waiting to see what the outcome will be.

 

Issues Dominating The Election Season In Texas

 

Abortion is one of the most important – Rick Perry signed a”draconian law” 2 years ago and upheld by the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals earlier in October.  The law will be instrumental in shutting down at least 2/3rds of the still open abortion clinics in the state.  When asked about the decision, Ricky Perry deflected the issue and talked more about the economy, national security and the border.  He was of the opinion that the American people want to focus of these issues and not just abortion.

The fact is that this issue cannot be avoided as the election nears – the ruling sets a precedent which the US Supreme Court can use to determine how far a state can go to deny access to abortion.  It may well be that the Court will decide right in the middle of the election campaign forcing candidates to discuss the issue whether they want to or on.  This could bode trouble for the Republican Party.  The requirements set for doctors and clinics are so strict that only 7 out of the many clinics can meet the threshold and still remain open.

The question to consider for the Justices would be is whether the law creates a burden on women and their right to have an abortion.  To look at it more practically, the case is access to services – whether a state can use regulations to deny it to millions during the early stages of pregnancy.  Polls on the subject show that even after 40 years, 70% of Americans believe that Roe v. Wade should stand.

In U.S.A state politics, there are other pressing social issues which need to be addressed, especially in the context of the Roe v. Wade decision.  The timing of the debate and decision by the Supreme Court Justices has the potential to make this a very important campaign issue.  It could work to a Democrats advantage – most citizens don’t want an ultra-conservative Supreme Court Justice on the bench especially if it is a lifetime appointment.  There are so many issues to talk about that candidates have to not only be measured with their opinions but also what they can accomplish if they are in office.