Texas is a constant source of national political news. Superintendents pushing back against Gov. Abbott’s mask restrictions. Republicans redistricting the state with a thumb on the scale. Democrats denying a quorum to keep voting rights from being trampled on.
- At a time when many are discouraged about the future of Texas, here are two reasons to be optimistic:
Despite it all, Biden got 46.4% – the highest vote for a Democratic Presidential candidate since 1976 when Jimmy Carter won the state. Think about it – John Kerry lost Texas by 23%, the vaunted Barack Obama machine lost by 12 and 16%, Hillary Clinton lost by 9% and Joe Biden only lost by 5.5%.
- What about mi gente, the burgeoning Latino population in Texas? Analysis shows that Latino voters, despite trends that we need to watch, did not abandon Democrats. Latino voters did move toward Trump in the Rio Grande Valley and some portions of the Panhandle – but not the 12% that leaked GOP exit polls claimed. It’s also critical to note that many of these same voters continued to support down-ballot Democratic candidates. Far more on-the-ground resources and organizing are essential, particularly in the Rio Grande Valley, to reach out to this key constituency. We cannot have further erosion of the coalition and win statewide in Texas.
How do we turn this confidence into electoral victories?
- In 2020, Texas Democrats underperformed and GOTV. The Texas Democratic Party estimates that 51% of the voting population are Democrats, but Republicans are more likely to vote. Thus, Democrats must run a superior ground game to overcome this – and with enough strategic investment, will.
- Democrats came within 23,000 votes of winning the Texas state house. Again, this is a goal that can and will be achieved with authentic candidates and paying attention to campaign fundamentals.
- Texas Democrats need to massively expand our voter registration. From 2018 to 2020, Democrats lost ground in terms of voter registration, losing about 26,000 net votes including a key late surge of GOP registrations in 2020. However, there are more than enough potential registrants to flip the state if we invest in and execute effective programs at scale.
We believe that the path in Texas leans toward Democrats and are making strategic investments in our operations to help retake the legislature and statewide offices. CN4 Partners has doubled down on Texas, opening an office in Houston. This makes us one of the few national firms to have an on-the-ground presence in the Lone Star State. With sufficient investment and ambition, Texas can be a reliably Democratic state by the end of the decade.