I think you will find at least in Texas that the Mexican-Americans understand what's at stake and are aligning themselves accordingly. https://www.texasmonthly.com/news-politics/democrats-losing-texas-latinos-trump/
I very much disagree. Plus, “Mexican-Americans” is far too broad a term for Texas especially given its history. Mestizos are still firmly for the Democrats.
Texas is in huge, huge trouble for Republicans. People often talk about Bush beating Democrat Ann Richards by only 53-45 in the 1994 Governor’s race as an example of how Texas has always had a fairly or even very strong Democratic vote. On paper, it is a very similar margin to Cruz’s win over Beto O’BetaDork for the Senate two and a half years ago.
Regardless, old races where Democrats won a huge percentage of the vote ignore how many of these “leftwing” candidates from the 1960s to 2000s were more in line with Trump’s policies than many Republicans are today.
This is why I tend to scoff at conservatives who fondly remember how Newt Gingrich in 1994 led the Right to its best showing in Congress in “decades”. The Congress under Eisenhower, Democratic-dominated as it was, had more conservatives than Newt had in 1994. Party affiliation alone tells you very little. Newt was certainly important for his time but the obsession with certain misleading metrics obscures how badly America has fallen over decades.
We cannot rely on simply comparing GOP/Democratic percentages across different periods. Easily 2/3 of Ann Richard voters in 1994 would have voted for Cruz for Senate in 2018. That between 45 and 50% of Texans voted for an extremist like O’BetaDork in 2018 is an indictment of the collective insanity gripping huge swathes of even hitherto red states.
Think also about how John Kennedy in neighboring Louisiana was a Democrat until only 10-15 years ago. On the flip side, Dennis Kucinich, an “extremist” in his heyday (only a decade and a half ago in 2004), was a “radical”, “fringe” Democrat who in 2021 would be in the 80th percentile for how “conservative” he was.
Many of the people you are talking about when you say “Mexican-American” in Texas are criollo (pure White) or phenotypically criollo Hispanic. They are old school Tejanos. Many but not all Hispanics in certain border areas have been in Texas for hundreds of years. El Paso is a lot whiter-looking than the stats suggest. Plenty of Hispanics there are as white as Irish Beto, for example.
In addition, many conservative “Hispanics” are mixed non-Hispanic/Hispanic individuals who simply put down Hispanic as the ethnicity they choose. There is a tendency to choose the more exotic ancestry, which explains mixed Anglo/Polish people in Michigan putting down Polish or mixed German/Norwegian people in Minnesota putting down Norwegian.
I do the same on censuses when I am back home. I put “Swiss-German” down despite being literally eight times more “English” than I am “Swiss-German”. I also put down “Irish” as my second of two choices because I am part-Irish and “English” gets more responses than “Irish” in Australia, even if there are plenty of Irish people.
Ted Cruz’s Hispanic ancestry is basically a joke, as is Charlie Sheen’s. Both had grandfathers born in actual Spain, Cruz’s father is a pure White man born in Cuba, and both Cruz and Sheen had not even on-paper-Hispanic European mothers, in Cruz’s case Irish-Italian.