What if Texas Really Tried to Secede?

by on April 27th, 2009

Texas Governor Rick Perry recently stated that he believed his state would be within its legal rights to secede from the United States. Although he gave no indication that such a move is imminent or even under serious consideration, many Texas Democrats are furious at Perry over this assertion.

However, some of the state’s Republicans seem to relish the idea. They realize that they would likely be the dominant party in a nation of Texas suddenly freed from a Democratically-controlled Washington.

Hypothetically, though, what if Texas really attempted to secede? In a complete 180 from the way state politicians are currently reacting, I believe it would be national Republicans — not Democrats — who would have the biggest problem with it and subsequently throw up the most roadblocks to such a move. You see, it’s a matter of simple arithmetic in Congress and in the Electoral College.

Texas has two Senators and 32 members in the House of Representatives, and therefore gets 34 electoral votes in presidential elections. If Texas were to leave the Union, its congressional delegation and electoral votes would be reapportioned to the remaining 49 states.

Texas is solidly Republican, having gone for the GOP candidates in the last eight presidential elections. In addition, both of its Senators, as well as 20 of its House members, are Republican. Out of the 20 most populous, you cannot find a more dependable state for the national GOP. Without Texas, Republicans would have difficulty not only winning presidential elections but ever having any hopes of regaining a majority in Congress.

Therefore, I believe President Obama and national Democrats would only go through the motions of blocking Texas from seceding, as it would be to their political advantage to let the Lone Star State go. The Republican National Committee, on the other hand, would no doubt fight to the bitter end to keep Texas in the fold — and be left crying in their beer if unsuccessful.

Terry Mitchell