Texas is still a solid Red state, but this cannot be taken for granted. It is changing rapidly toward Democrat.
Rick Perry is a popular and successful governor who is being challenged by an ex-mayor, Bill White, who left his city with some huge financial problems. (his replacement, Democrat Annise Parker has been much more conservative and has had to slash the cities budget). Nevertheless, the race is very close. Recent polls of likely voters have Perry up by only four points, and this in a historic anti-Democrat atmosphere.
Now part of this can be simply Perry fatigue. Perry has been in office a long time. But I am convinced that this is also a result of changing demographics. And I am not just talking about the huge growth in the Hispanic vote, Texas is also being colonized by people who have fled areas of low employment, most notably California. Those who have been residents for six months can start voting.
In the House races Republicans will probably not pick up more than one or two seats, that is partly because they already hold most of the seats, but it is also because Democrats are expected to pick up at least two seats in areas where Hispanic voting has increased. If you look at a list of Democratic candidates running for the House, you will see that fully half of those names are Spanish.
Now the Hispanic vote is not as monolithicly Democrat as is the Black vote, but it is fairly reliable. The Republican party has no choice but to reach out to Hispanic voters, and run more Hispanic candidates.
How do you reach out to Hispanics? In my dealings with my Latin neighbors and coworkers I think they are worried about jobs more than anything else. But they are also very culturaly (or socially if you will) conservative. So values issues have a lot of pull. We should never pander or offer giveaways like the Democrats do, but money should be spent, and a special emphasis placed, upon getting our messege out to the Hispanic community in the border states, and recruiting Hispanic candidates.
Otherwise we could eventually lose the border states.