Tales from the Grassroots Protesters waved flags and signs during the “Tea Party” in Alamo Plaza. PHOTO BY LISA KRANTZ c SAN ANTONIO EXPRESS-NEWS/ZUMA PRESS INE’RE LIVING THROUGH A TRANSITIONAL MOMENT IN TEXAS POLITICS. Of course, like everything else that lives and breathes, politics is always in the process of changing. But ever since Republicans became the majority party in Texas, there’s been an air of contingency around their dominancesurely, it would never last one-fifth as long as the Democrats’ century-long, post-Civil War lock on the Legislature, the Governor’s Mansion and practically every county. The Republicans are overwhelmingly Anglo in a state that will have a Hispanic plurality in the next decade. Texas Hispanics are overwhelmingly Democratic. Ergo: a short-lived Republican majority. But politics doesn’t always neatly follow demographics, and the Republicans could be headed toward a fourth statewide sweep on Nov. 2. But there’s still a competitive race for governor, as you might have heard. And the state House, with a current 77-73 Republican edge, is up for grabs. We’ve profiled a few of the hottest House races in this issue, and we’ll be exploring all 15 of them at texasobserver.org . In this issue, we’ve mostly steered clear of horse-race politics and eschewed generalities about “the direction of Texas politics.” Instead, we dive into the contradictory richness of our regional politics. Our reporters traveled to West Texas Dairy Queens, Corpus Christi malls, the Texas State Forest Festival in Lufkin and the ‘burbs of Dallas, Houston and Austin to dig into the complexities of four distinctive political regions of Texas. Rather than bore you with predictions and prognostications that will be swept aside come Nov. 2, we hope this issue gives you fresh insights into the tenor of Texas politics 2010from the ground level, where we like it. BOB MOSER
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