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'Don't California My Texas': How Expats Are Turning The Lone Star State Purple

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Dr. Myiesha Taylor, left, with her daughters Hana Taylor Schlitz, 12, and Haley Taylor Schlitz, 18. (Photo courtesy of William Schlitz)
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While the prospect of Texas as a swing state may shock those who associate the state with George W. Bush, it shouldn’t surprise anyone paying attention to its politics over the past decade. While Barack Obama lost Texas by 16 points in his 2012 re-election bid, in 2016 Hillary Clinton closed that gap to single-digits. Two years later, Democrat Beto O’Rourke lost to incumbent Republican Senator Ted Cruz by less than three points.

The improving performance of Texas Democrats tracks well with the exodus of Californians into Sun Belt states over the past two decades. Since 2008, more than 700,000 Californians have moved to Texas, at first propelled by the Great Recession and later by their home state’s increasingly untenable cost of living.

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