Last updated on August 11, 2020
From The Houston Chronicle:
For years, the same question has been asked: When will the new Texas emerge?
The answer? Right now.
— BlueTexasPAC (@BlueTexasPAC) August 7, 2020
A new super PAC is launching Friday to help Joe Biden win Texas as the state looks increasingly like a battleground in November.
The political action committee, Blue Texas PAC, is coming as it remains unclear how much Biden’s campaign will invest this fall in Texas, where poll after poll shows a close race between the former vice president and President Donald Trump.
“For decades, progressives in Texas have fought to turn Texas blue,” the group’s co-founder, Kim Taylor, said in a statement. “We have never had a better opportunity. Blue Texas has a clear focus: to flip Texas in 2020. We are a Texas born, Texas-bred campaign that intends to raise the funds and communicate with voters to get rid of Donald Trump in November.”
The survey was conducted between 24 July and 2 August and asked 2,576 likely voters in Texas who they would vote for if November’s election was held today.
The poll, from Morning Consult, showed that 47 per cent of likely voters in the state would vote for Mr Biden, while 46 per cent for the current US president.
Joe Biden’s campaign is naming its first hires for the general election in Texas, where polls continue to show a close contest between the presumptive Democratic nominee and President Donald Trump.
Biden’s state director will be Rebecca Acuña, a veteran of the Texas Capitol and Democratic campaigns in the state. The deputy state director will be Jennifer Longoria, who led Elizabeth Warren’s campaign in Texas during the primary. Biden’s communications director in the state will be Tariq Thowfeek, a former Texas Democratic Party spokesman who has since worked for Facebook.
The team also includes two advisers who were involved early with Biden’s campaign in Texas during the primary. Mike Collier, the 2018 nominee for lieutenant governor, will serve as senior adviser, while Jane Hamilton, Biden’s Texas state director during the primary, has been named strategic adviser.
TV ad bookings for the fall help tell the story of the state of the Texas battlefield. The major Democratic groups — the DCCC and House Majority PAC — have announced a combined $13.4 million in reservations in the state, spanning five markets, while their Republican counterparts — the NRCC and Congressional Leadership Fund — have announced less than half that, $5.5 million. The GOP’s reservations include no defensive buys, with almost all of the $5.5 million being booked for Hunt’s race in Houston.
As for the seven seats that national Democrats are working to flip, a general hierarchy has emerged around where they are most hopeful. The 23rd District is predictably at the top, followed by three of the four other seats where they have named Red to Blue candidates: the seat of retiring Rep. Kenny Marchant, R-Coppell, as well as those of retiring Rep. Pete Olson, R-Sugar Land, and Rep. Chip Roy, R-Austin. The fifth race where they have a Red to Blue contender — the seat of Rep. Dan Crenshaw, R-Houston — is the toughest of the batch.
The DCCC’s offensive battlefield in Texas still could grow. Over the past several weeks, Democrats released internal polling in three non-target districts that found single digit-races involving Republican Reps. Van Taylor of Plano, Roger Williams of Austin and Ron Wright of Arlington. Two of the three surveys were done by the DCCC itself.
On Tuesday, the Democrats’ Senate campaign arm announced it was committing at least $1 million to help Air Force veteran MJ Hegar topple three-term Sen. John Cornyn, citing an internal poll showing she has pulled within one point of him.
Public polls show Hegar within 6 percentage points, putting her in better shape than El Paso Democrat Beto O’Rourke was at this point two years ago. O’Rourke ended up losing to Sen. Ted Cruz by 2.6%, the closest any Democrat has come to winning statewide in Texas since 1994.
The race “is a dead heat” and the “increased investment in this race reflects how Hegar’s strong campaign and the current political environment have put yet another GOP Senate seat in play,” tweeted Stewart Boss, spokesman for the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee.
The month-to-month distractions started with the secret recording scandal that forced Bonnen into retirement — and sidelined a speaker who was set to play a leading role in defending the House GOP majority. Bookending the period was the convention, which the party struggled mightily to pull off virtually after its all-out push for an in-person gathering failed in the courts. But in between, public relations nightmares persisted — a state representative who complained his primary challengers were running against him because they were Asian, a spate of county party chairs who spread conspiracy theories about George Floyd’s death on Facebook, a podcast outtake in which staffers for the hard-right group Empower Texans joked about Abbott’s wheelchair use and disparaged him with profanity.
While Republicans doubt those episodes will be top of mind for voters in November, they nonetheless have given Democrats plenty of fodder and inhibited party unity during a cycle that demands it.
By contrast, things have generally gone the right way for Texas Democrats in recent months. With a national spotlight shining bright on them, they have been able to drive a narrative that they are mostly on offense, from the presidential race on down, and have mostly kept intraparty squabbling confined to individual races.
The Texas Democratic Party, Beto O’Rourke’s Powered By People, and the Texas Coalition of Black Democrats are beginning a massive effort to contact each and every one of Texas’ 1.5 million registered Black voters by mid-August.
The effort is aimed at turning out Democrats for the November election. The groups will call or text every voter for whom they have a phone number. They also hope to register unregistered Black voters living in the households they contact.
“Make no mistake about it, Black voters are the backbone of the Texas Democratic Party,” said Texas Democratic Party Black Constituency Organizer Serita Robinson. “With the social upheaval that we are seeing across the country and in Texas, along with Black Americans realizing the power of our movement and the power of our voices, there has never been a more important time to come together and support our community.
Let’s keep up the momentum and go all in to flip Texas Blue. Click below to donate and get involved with Biden’s campaign and these Texas Democrats campaigns and organizations:
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