Texas is at a crossroads.
The Lone Star State is changing – and with its size and diversity, our state should be a place where all elections – from local elections all the way up to the President of United States are hotly contested.
To do that, we need Texans in every corner of the state – from Amarillo to Brownsville and El Paso to Beaumont – to stand up and say that they’re tired of not being heard, tired of not being represented in Austin and in Washington, DC, and tired of the same Republican playbook which is failing our communities and ignoring the needs of countless Texans.
Change will take time – but together we can make Texas a part of the national discussion.
Grassroots voices are changing this country on a scale that was unheard of just a few years ago.
Over the next several years, Battleground Texas will focus on expanding the electorate by registering more voters – and, as importantly, mobilizing those Texans who are already registered but who have not been engaged in the democratic process. And we’ll use the data-driven, people-focused approach that has helped win grassroots campaigns around the country.
From top to bottom of the ballot – we can change the face of Texas politics together.
Battleground Texas is a local effort with national implications.
Texans are carrying this movement and its success could change the face of presidential politics in this country as we know it. With 38 electoral votes at stake, a blue Texas would be a surefire road to the White House.
Change does not come easy, but taking the harder road for a better future is what our state is all about.
Texans are ready.
Our organizing strategies will work in Texas.
Battleground Texas will be a people based, metrics driven organization that is dedicated to the idea that volunteers, in their neighborhoods, can and do significantly impact local, state and national elections.
As a people based organization, we are focused on leadership development, training and empowerment. We work with volunteer leaders to ensure they have all the skills they need to successfully recruit new volunteers and register, persuade and turnout voters.
As a metrics driven organization, we understand the importance of accountability. We regularly measure our progress and hold ourselves to the goals we set. We also use data extensively to ensure our programs are having an impact.
Today’s the day: Democrats launch ‘Battleground Texas’ project to end GOP dominance
Tuesday, February 26, 2013
Rick Perry won’t even entertain the notion that Texas will ever again elect a Democrat in a statewide political contest.
“The biggest pipe dream I have ever heard,” he told the Wall Street Journal this past weekend.
Well, Democrats beg to differ. And they’re launching a new group today determined to make Perry’s “pipe dream” into every Republican’s worst political nightmare.
The new Democratic organization, called “Battleground Texas,” is designed to make Texas a politically competitive state by reaching out to Texas women and mobilizing Latino, African American and other minority voters who make up a majority of the state’s population but not its registered voters.
Battleground Texas is modeled on “voter engagement” projects that helped President Obama carry swing states including Florida, Ohio, Virginia, Nevada and Colorado. Indeed, the new group has hired veterans of Obama’s successful grassroots efforts, including executive director Jenn Brown, Obama’s 2012 field director in Ohio, and digital director Christina Gomez, a digital strategist for the Democratic National Committee last year.
No Democratic presidential candidate has carried Texas since Jimmy Carter won a narrow victory in 1976. Republicans haven’t lost a race for statewide office since 1994, and GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney took Texas by a comfortable margin of 16 percentage points last year.
Despite that track record, Democrats are convinced that demographic changes and hard-right positions taken by prominent Texas Republicans can lead to a politically competitive state within six years. But their challenge is considerable: Among the ten states with the largest percentage of Latino voters, only Texas and Arizona voted Republican in 2012.
“With its size and diversity, Texas ought to be a place where local races are hotly contested and anyone who wants to be president has to compete,” said Jeremy Bird, founding partner of 270 Strategies, a Democratic consulting firm based in Washington and Chicago. “We know part of the problem is too few Texans are participating in the Democratic process.”
As senior adviser to the new organization, Bird said is goal is “bringing some of the best talent and strategies in politics to the Lone Star State to help expand the electorate by registering more voters and by mobilizing Texans who are already registered but haven’t made their voices heard.”
Electoral participation by Latino voters in Texas has historically lagged behind the national average for Hispanic participation and runs far behind turnout for Anglo and African American voters. Battleground Texas plans to model itself on Obama campaign efforts to increase Latino participation in Nevada, Colorado and Florida.
The group also is hoping to implement the successful strategy of freshman Texas Democrat Pete Gallego of Alpine, who unseated Republican Rep. Francisco “Quico” Canseco of San Antonio by identifying voters considered less likely to vote and mobilizing them to turn out on Election Day. Gallego’s strategy resulted in major Democratic gains in rural areas with a growing Latino population and helped him overcome Canseco’s edge in heavily Republican San Antonio precincts.
Battleground Texas plans to build the Democratic Party from the bottom up, registering voters even in heavily Republican areas and encouraging Democrats to field candidates across the state.
Top Republicans – other than Perry – have expressed concern that Democrats could make inroads in Texas. State GOP chair Steve Munisteri said recently that former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton could transform Texas into a “lean Republican” state rather than a solid GOP bastion if she chooses to seek the presidency in 2016. “In not too many years, Texas could switch from being all Republican to all Democrat,” freshman Republican Sen. Ted Cruz warned recently.
“If Texas turns bright blue,” Cruz said, “the Electoral College math is simple … The Republican Party would cease to exist.”
That’s why Battleground Texas – web site: BattlegroundTexas.com – is using Cruz’s quotation as its unofficial battle cry.
But Perry isn’t buying the talk of a competitive Texas any time in his life.
“The University of Texas will change its colors to maroon and white before Texas goes purple, much less blue,” Perry recently told the Journal.