Texas House Democrats Raise Over $3.6 Million In Three Months To Flip The Texas State House Blue

From The Houston Chronicle:

The Texas House Democratic Campaign Committee has raised over $3.6 million in just under three months, a massive cash infusion as the party pushes to take control of the lower chamber for the first time since 2002.

The $3.6 million haul, which came between July 1 and Sept. 24, is more than double the $1.6 million that the committee raised in the first six months of the year. That in itself was a committee record at the time, exceeding its total fundraising for the entire 2018 election cycle.

“Affordable healthcare, economic security, and a plan to deal with COVID-19 are on the ballot, and achieving those goals starts with flipping the Texas House,” the HDCC’s chairwoman, Rep. Celia Israel of Austin, said in an announcement of the committee’s latest fundraising that was first shared with The Texas Tribune. “That has been our mission from day one, and donors have responded in a big way.”

There’s a lot more attention on Texas in this election. It’s not just about flipping the Texas State House, it’s also about the presidency. Former presidential candidate, Rep. Beto O’Rourke (D. TX) and Tory Gavito, president and co-founder of Way To Win, released an op-ed in The Washington Post making a solid case for Biden to win Texas:

For months, Biden’s polling average has consistently been within the margin of error in Texas. And the race continues to tighten. But what is important to understand is since the 2008 election, polling of the Texas electorate has significantly underestimated Democratic performance because, unlike demographically declining states, Texas has a growing, dynamic electorate with many new voters who are younger, more likely to have college degrees and more likely to be people of color — and often difficult to poll. As a result of this rapid demographic change, Texas is not only more racially diverse and urban than most other swing states, but also more rapidly trending Democratic. Unlike the Rust Belt, where the polls underestimated Trump’s strength on Election Day, the polls in Texas underestimated Hillary Clinton’s performance by 4.9 percent.
That gives us reason to believe polling in Texas this cycle masks a potential Biden victory. He has consistently been running better than any Democratic candidate in decades. You would have to look back to 1976 — the last time a Democratic presidential candidate won Texas — for a race this tight. Even Barack Obama, on average, trailed John McCain by 13 points in 2008 in the polling leading up to the 2008 election, closing the final results to about an 11-point difference. But since 2008, every Democrat has also done better in the actual election than the Texas polls predicted — as did one of us, Beto O’Rourke, in the 2018 Senate race. This pattern of underestimating Democratic candidates shows Biden can win Texas.
In 2018, O’Rourke came close to unseating Sen. Ted Cruz (R), earning 48.3 percent of the vote to Cruz’s 50.9 percent. In the last weeks leading up to the election, though, the polls put Cruz ahead by an average of six points. Two years later, Biden enjoys consistent, higher polling averages than O’Rourke did in 2018. If the way Texas Democrats have outperformed polling in the last four presidential election cycles is any guide, the Trump campaign — and his Republican Party — have every reason to be worried.

It’s also about winning the U.S. Senate race. By the way:

David Weigel & Lauren Tierney have a thorough breakdown of the state in The Washington Post that shows where Biden’s strongest support would come from:

It’s a very big hump. Clinton carried four of Texas’s five most populous counties, containing the cities of Houston, Dallas, Fort Worth, Austin and San Antonio, and where a total of 3,809,602 votes were cast. But 57 percent of the total statewide vote came from outside those counties. Unlike Arizona, where defeat in the suburbs can close off the GOP’s path to a majority, Texas has millions of rural, White, conservative voters who are alienated from the modern Democratic Party and can overwhelm it with high turnout.

Those voters have elected a Republican Party that’s made voting tougher, under pandemic conditions, than in any 2020 swing state. Of the 15 states where Joe Biden’s presidential campaign has run TV ads, only Texas requires voters to have a medical reason to request an absentee ballot, unless they’re 65 or older. Republican state legislators have nixed the state’s old straight-ticket option, after 2018’s Democratic surge led to massive down-ballot wins in urban counties.

And just this week, Republican Gov. Greg Abbott mandated that each of Texas’s 254 counties maintain just one drop box for mail ballots, to “maintain the integrity of our election.” Rural Loving County, with just 169 residents, would have as many drop-off points as Houston’s Harris County, with more than 4.7 million residents. Democrats, who went to court immediately to challenge this, saw it as evidence that Republicans are nervous.

Give the whole piece a read. Also, FYI:

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