There's a New National Effort to Turn Texas Blue
It's clear and has been for a while that, barring a wholesale shift in the worldview of both Republicans and Latino voters, demographic shifts will turn Texas into a Democratic state. Eventually. That's what San Antonio's political wonderkinder Joaquin and Julian Castro were talking about on Sunday when they told CBS' Face the Nation that Texas would soon turn blue.
Politico reports this morning that the national Democratic Party would very much like to accelerate that process and is launching a targeted effort to do just that.
First up is an organization dubbed Battleground Texas, which "plans to engage the state's rapidly growing Latino population, as well as African-American voters and other Democratic-leaning constituencies that have been underrepresented at the ballot box in recent cycles," Politico reports.
Papers for the group, being spearheaded by Jeremy Bird, the national field director for President Obama's reelection campaign, were filed this month. Its focus will be on registering more voters and getting more voters to the polls. Bird told Politico that the lan is to "make Texas a battleground state by treating it like one."
Actually doing that will take money, which Politico reports will be rolling into Battleground Texas to the tune of tens of millions of dollars over several years. It will also take a rebirth of the state's Democratic Party, which has withered during its two decades in the wilderness.
Leading the hoped-for renaissance will be the state party's rising stars, like state Sen. Wendy Davis, who is singled out as the strongest Democratic candidate for statewide office in 2014, and the Castro brothers.
It's hard to believe that even the most optimistic Democrats really expect Texas to be competitive as soon as 2014 or 2016. But the shift is all but inevitable, and Republican complacency seems destined to help it along.
Politico quotes Republican strategist Dave Carney, who steered Perry's 2010 reelection, dismissed Battleground Texas as a case of "consultants coming up with a project to get paid."
"The more money they spend on [Battleground Texas], the better it is for Texas and the taxpayers of Texas, because it will basically lead to continued conservative dominance of the state," Carney told Politico. "There's a reason voters are low-propensity voters. They don't vote. It's their message that hurts [Democrats.] It's their inability to articulate a message that the vast majority of Texas voters agree with."