By Raoul Lowery Contreras
Finally, Hispanic Americans, predominantly those of Mexican ancestry, have become truly important to the political future of the United States. Their impact on the current run for the Presidency was felt on Super Tuesday like never before — specifically the support of Mexican Americans for Sen. Bernie Sanders in California and for former Vice President Joe Biden in Texas.
Mexican Americans are no longer a political “sleeping giant” — they are for real, they are “awake.”
In fact, 65 percent of all Hispanics in the United States are of Mexican origin and are concentrated in the two giant electoral-vote states of California and Texas. They dominate New Mexico, and are growing rapidly in Arizona and Colorado.
On Super Tuesday all eyes were on California and Texas and how many would vote for self-proclaimed “democratic socialist” Sanders or the perceived moderate Biden with his long-standing party credentials.
The choice for the Democratic Presidential nomination was unclear earlier when the race was jammed with candidates who never had a chance of appealing to the huge Mexican-American bloc of voters in California and Texas.
With 1,900-plus delegate votes needed to win the nomination, California and Texas have a disproportionate effect on victory as together they represent over a third of the votes needed.
What actually happened is that Mexican-American voters in California appear to have voted in greater numbers for Sanders than for Biden. The reverse is true in Texas, where it appears the Mexican-Americans preferred Biden. Sanders will probably wind up with a slim delegate win in California when all the votes are counted, while Biden dominated Texas.
Regardless of who is nominated, Biden or Sanders, democratic socialist or moderate Democrat, the nominee will owe his nomination to Mexican Americans. The conventional wisdom is that African-American voters in South Carolina pulled the rug out from under Sanders and saved Biden from his third failure in Presidential runs. That is true at the margin.
But what really saved Biden is the Mexican Americans who delivered Texas, and to enough moderate and conservative Mexican Americans in California to keep Sanders from a runaway victory in the Golden State.
Super Tuesday also showed the political power of the two largest states. In the future, Democrats in California and Texas will name Presidential nominees, not South Carolina, Iowa or New Hampshire. And with the Mexican-American population growing faster than any other demographic group, those states’ influence can only increase.
California will undoubtedly elect its second Mexican-American governor — the first since 1865 — before the end of the decade. TexMex voters will dominate the Texas Democratic Party and ring up more Mexican-American victories at the state level in the next decade than in all Texas history up to now. It might more time, but Texas will turn blue.
The only force that will stand in the way of a blue Texas may be George P. Bush, grandson of President George H.W. Bush, nephew of President George W. Bush and son of former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush and his Mexican-born wife.
Like the Mexican Americans who voted for Biden in Texas, George P. is a Mexican American. He, like they, is a moderate. He is also a winner, with a victory in his first election to the office of Land Commissioner. He will probably be the first ever Mexican-American governor of Texas.
The difference between this Bush and Biden is Bush is a Republican and has the ability to keep Mexican voters from pursuing the socialism that the Sanders-Ocasio Cortez-Warren wing of the Democratic Party are trying so hard to impose on the United States.
Watching Sanders huff and puff about the half-century-old Castro dictatorship and the “good” it did for the Cuban people makes moderate and conservative Mexican Americans strike out for freedom and reject a “democratic socialist America.” The result was on view after Super Tuesday.
Raoul Lowery Contreras is a Marine Corps veteran, political consultant and author of the new book White Anglo-Saxon Protestants (WASPS) & Mexicans. His work has appeared in the New American News Service of the New York Times Syndicate.