Aug 24, 2023 - Politics

Texas politics in "Red, White & Royal Blue"

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Illustration: Lindsey Bailey/Axios

Texas politics now plays an unexpectedly major role in a popular romantic comedy.

What's happening: "Red, White & Royal Blue" is a new Amazon Prime film, based on a novel with the same title, about a budding romance between the son of the U.S. president and an English prince.

Yes, but: That relationship may be more plausible than a key plot point involving our state.

Between the lines: In a subplot, Alex Claremont-Diaz, the first son, writes a campaign memo urging his mother, the president (a Democrat, played by Uma Thurman, in a tight re-election bid), to put resources into Texas — which he's convinced can be turned blue.

  • If Dems can register a million voters, Claremont-Diaz reasons, they can win Texas.
  • Of note: The book's author, Casey McQuiston, has said the president was inspired by former state Sen. Wendy Davis.

Semi-spoiler alert: As returns roll in on election night, the fate of the White House does indeed sit with Texas.

Reality check: Gov. Greg Abbott beat Beto O'Rourke, a well-funded, well-known Democrat, by double-digits last November.

Plus: As Axios previously reported, a deep-pocketed progressive organization that aimed to register 150,000 young Texans ahead of last November's election netted just shy of a fifth of that figure.

What's next: Texas Dems are hoping, once again, that the 2024 election galvanizes young voters, as they seek to unseat Republican U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz.

The bottom line: Parts of the movie are set in Texas — and in Austin specifically — though it wasn't filmed here. Part of the general political and filmic make-believe.


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