There is little doubt that Mr. Romney will carry Texas. He is a 99 percent favorite in the state, according to the current FiveThirtyEight forecast. But the long-term trend seems equally clear. Despite poor turnout, the Hispanic share of the electorate has steadily climbed, from 7 percent in 1984 to 20 percent in 2008, according to exit polls. At the same time, the non-Hispanic white vote has consistently fallen. In 1984 it was 78 percent; by 2008 it was 63 percent.
The larger question is not if Texas will become more competitive, but when, both Mr. [James] Henson [director of the Texas Politics Project] and Mr. [Robert] Miller [chairman of the Public Law Group at Locke Lord L.L.P.] said. And that largely depends on whether Democrats can improve turnout among Hispanics.