Last updated on June 26, 2020
From The Dallas Morning News:
Beto O’Rourke and his band of volunteers are entering the next phase of their effort to help Democrats win the Texas House.
Members of the political action committee, Powered by People, have met their goal of contacting more than 350,000 Democrats who recently moved to Texas but have not registered to vote here. It’s part of a broader plan to try to register about 1.4 million new residents who voted for Democrats in their former states.
They identified the new residents by examining change of address forms and matching them with voter records from their home states.
O’Rourke, the former El Paso congress member and Democratic presidential candidate, says getting 500,000 of those new Texans to vote for Democratic candidates in November would enhance the chances of Democrats winning the House — and former Vice President Joe Biden defeating President Donald Trump.
“Now it’s time for voter contact calling,” O’Rourke told The Dallas Morning News. “We’re calling into those districts and confirming that they will be voting for the Democratic nominee.”
That’s the next phase of the Powered by People approach. It involves reaching out to voters in House districts targeted by Democrats, including nine districts that O’Rourke won in 2018, when he was narrowly defeated in a dramatic Senate contest against Republican incumbent Ted Cruz.
Many of those districts are in North Texas.
Overall, Texas Democrats have targeted 22 House districts in 2020. They need to pick up nine seats to win the Texas House, a chamber Republicans have controlled since 2003.
“We see our role as helping all these great Democratic candidates,” O’Rourke said. “The big value we provide is the extraordinary network of volunteers.”
Received this e-mail today from Beto O’Rourke on behalf of his group, Powered By People:
As I have shared with you in previous emails, our volunteers are making a record number of voter registration and voter contact phone calls, and the rate of participation is steadily increasing. For example, the first night we held a voter registration phone bank, just over 250 volunteers showed up (virtually, we conduct these phone banks over Zoom).
The next night it was 368. The following night, 523. By the last night of our voter registration phone bank, 822 people were making phone calls throughout Texas helping to register Democratic voters.
Ultimately all of those volunteers on all of those phone banks made over 600,000 phone calls to help add net-new voters to the rolls as we seek to win a Democratic majority in the state house and help Joe Biden become the first Democrat to win Texas since 1976.
And we’re about to start a new effort, contacting existing voters to get them to commit to voting for Democrats up and down the ballot. We will then share that information in the state-wide voter file that Democratic candidates up and down the ballot can use to give them a competitive edge. I expect that given the amazing turnout we’ve had for our voter registration effort so far, that we’ll be successful in reaching hundreds of thousands of voters in competitive districts throughout Texas.
All of that is good news, and frankly, is far better than I thought we’d be doing at this point, especially considering that our original plan was to be out canvassing in person by now. Because the pandemic limited our ability to physically be with voters, we had to adapt and improvise.
As Teddy Roosevelt said, “Do what you can, with what you have, where you are.”
That’s us. Using Zoom, dialing software and an army of volunteers to reach existing voters and register new ones.
I hope that you will continue to support our work by donating today. Your contribution will fund a small paid team that recruits volunteers and organizes these outreach efforts as well as the licensing of the dialer software and the other systems that support what is today the largest voter registration and voter contact effort taking place in the state of Texas.
I’m grateful to have your help and promise you that I will make the most of it.
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