AUSTIN -- The Republican Party in Texas will have its back to the wall in next year's general election following Democrat gains in 2006, warns GOP Attorney General Greg Abbott.
Abbott told a gathering last Thursday of the GOP-affiliated Galveston Island Pachyderm Club, on the state's Gulf Coast, that the Republican hold on Houston's Harris County is weakening.
That matches a trend in Dallas County, swept by Democrats last year, Abbot told the assembled. He said Houston's Republicans, like Dallas's, have fled to outlying suburban counties.
Abbott told the audience: "We need to be prepared for a closer, tighter, tougher battle" for the 2008 election, the Galveston Daily News reported.
He said the state's growing Hispanic population and transition to a "majority-minority" state were also working against the GOP. Hispanics have traditionally voted Democrat by a solid majority.
The attorney general tried to fire up the local faithful, noting that only two of Galveston County's six-county elective office were held by the GOP. "You are a rock-solid Republican county," he told the audience.
Abbott said Republican votes in Galveston will also be needed to elect the GOP slate to the state's Court of Appeals next year.