If a new report is any indication, the Democratic advantage in the U.S. electoral map is poised to grow even stronger in the years ahead. The analysis from Axios shows that districts with larger foreign-born populations are strongly Democratic. In particular, districts where more than 20 percent of the population is foreign born swing overwhelmingly for Democrats. That is bad news for Republicans, since the foreign-born population of the U.S. is growing, reaching a record-high 44 million in 2016.
Bob Stein, political science professor at Rice University, says the trend toward foreign-born Democratic voters is becoming more pronounced in places like Texas, where Democrats are trying to gain an advantage. "I think in the South and in the Midwest where you've got communities which have large Asian-American populations---particularly non-citizens who are in the professional sector---it can make a difference," he tells KTRH. "You talk to Pakistani, Indian, East Asian doctors and lawyers, it's not that there are many of them, but they vote...as a percent of the active electorate, they're large."
In the Houston area, Stein sees this phenomenon of voter creep at work in traditional Republican suburbs like Fort Bend County, where the Asian population has grown in recent years. "Non-native born U.S. citizens---particularly professionals---have left the Republican Party," he says. "That means they are not voting their economic self-interest."
As for which Houston-area Congressional districts are at most risk of being flipped by Democrats in the next few election cycles, Stein has two in mind. "I think Ted Poe's or John Culberson's (districts), or possibly both, will not be Republican seats," he says. "They're not going to protect them."