That's a question that was asked by Rorschach of Red Ink: Texas in the comments to this post examining the Republicans' Hispanic problem.
There are no direct correlations that I could find on the current ballot (same size, same voting district, etc.) to test this theory but I did find a couple of examples where a candidate with a Hispanic surname was placed first on the ballot against an opponent with a more traditionally Anglo surname. The results were as follows:
Harris County Commissioner Pct. 2:
Dorothy Olmos 37.24%
Jack Mormon 62.76%
In addition to this two-person race, there were several multi-candidate races where a Caucasian-named candidate ran considerably higher than a candidate with a Hispanic or Latino surname:
State Rep. - Dist. 127None of what I reproduced here is definitive proof that Republicans are a group of racist old white folks who are in desperation mode as they watch their culture fade away. Without taking a look at all of the candidates in all of the races there's just no way to know. In most of the races above, name ID (rather than racial ID) is enough to tilt the election, never mind an endorsement by Link Letter or The Texas Conservative Review.
Susan Curling: 20.01%
Martin Basuldua: 12.77%
Dan Huberty: 48.74%
Addie Wiseman: 18.48%
District Judge - 180th judicial district
Danny Dexter 46.50%
Emily Munoz 17.26%
Mark Brown 36.24%
Family District Judge - 308th district
Rick Ramos 18.52%
Alice J. O'Neill 29.38%
James Lombardino 41.09%
William Frazier 11.02%
Family District Judge - 311th district
Donna Detamore 18.21%
Lorraine Cervantes 7.70%
Denise Pratt 51.19%
Anthony Magdelano 9.14%
Joel A. Grandstaff 13.76%
Then there's one more theory, in the case of the local race for Harris County Tax Assessor-Collector, that makes sense. This time submitted by Kevin Whited:
I think a lot of voters who identify with that latter group took a look at the way Vazquez was anointed, and decided this race on the merits of the candidates.The Vasquez campaign was not without its warts, and neither was the Carillo campaign. Both candidates were flawed, Vasquez more so than Carillo. It very well could be that the voters made an informed decision based on the relative strengths and weaknesses of each candidate.
That being said, in Harris County, I could not find one example of a candidate with a name that suggested they could be a minority (Hispanic, Asian, etc.) beating a traditionally Caucasian named candidate. Guzman defeated Vela, Orlando Sanchez ran unopposed (although his under vote was actually quite low comparatively.) so there's no smoking gun there.
One election does not a trend make, and don't let breathless InterLeft bloggers with race issues of their own convince you otherwise. I said in the earlier post that yes, I DO believe Republicans have a Hispanic problem. I never outlined what I thought the problem was however.
It's as simple as this: Republicans need to do a better job recruiting more quality minority (including Hispanic) candidates to stand for office in their primaries. Only then can they shake off the appearance of racism, or root it out if it actually does exist in meaningful numbers within the party.
Call this election an "incomplete" in terms of its ability to answer the questions above. Right now the Republican problem is the appearance of racism within the rank and file of the party. As well all know, in politics, appearance is 90% of the battle. If you're a Republican supporter you had better work to turn that trend around soon, before your structural advantage in Texas withers away to nothing.