But who is responsible for turning a historically conservative voting state into a swing state that may go one way or another during Tuesday’s election?
This year, 86,164 Californians moved to Texas, more than any other state, according to a report by Texas Realtors. Some may think this is the reason, but a burgeoning demographic of Latinx people may play the largest role in turning the state blue this year.
“In Texas 200,000 Latinos are turning 18 every year,” said Marcy Miranda, the communications director for Jolt, an organization that works to mobilize the Latinx vote in Texas.
“For us it’s really just about getting out the vote, getting people to recognize that it’s important for them to vote because we Latinos are set to be the plurality next year and the majority by 2030, here in Texas,” Miranda said. “With those numbers comes a big responsibility.”
Many young Latinx voters are already feeling that sense of responsibility during this election. Bailie Ibarra, a Latinx San Francisco State University senior who is studying political science, voted for the first time during a presidential election in Texas last week.
In places like Texas, the Latinx community feels that we need to vote, Ibarra said.
“You have that contrast of the people who are very against our community pushing against our growing numbers so it feels like we need to voice that we’re here and that we’re a force, especially when it comes to voting,” Ibarra said.
LeeAnna Villareal, who studies journalism at USC, said she also feels a sense of urgency to vote in the upcoming election.
Most of the urgency derives from immigration policy, and the handling of the COVID-19 pandemic by the current administration, which has disproportionately affected Black and Latinx communities, Villareal said.
“I think that’s kind of why everyone is getting out to vote, to change that [immigration policy and COVID-19 handling],” Villareal said.
Many have already gone out to vote in Texas. Early voter turnout in Texas has already surpassed nine million, which is higher than the total number of voters in Texas during the 2016 presidential election, according to a report by The Texas Tribune.
Who will be victorious on the battleground of Texas, the Republicans or the Democrats? One thing is for sure, Latinx voters are ready to make their presence felt in Texas.
“We are coming to realize the power and the potential that we have... and we’re not letting voter suppression stop us anymore,” Miranda said. “We’re pushing back against people who suggest we aren’t civically educated.”