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We know the potential, but what’s the plan?

I trust we’re all familiar with the basic points that Eva Longoria and Gilberto Hinojosa make in Politico about Texas’ potential to become a swing state, perhaps by 2016. There’s nothing that Nate Silver didn’t address, and I could just refer to my response to that and leave it be, but there is one more thing to add. Everyone agrees that there are a lot of potential Democratic voters in Texas. But what is the plan to turn them into actual voters? Let me throw a number out at you: 2,832,704. That’s the number of votes John Kerry received in Texas in 2004. It’s also enough votes to have won every statewide election in Texas in 2002 save for Comptroller, and every statewide election in 2006. It even would have been enough to beat Rick Perry in 2010, and while it wouldn’t have been enough to win other races that year, it would have been within 100,000 votes of the Railroad Commissioner and contested judicial races. In 2010, for crying out loud.

So yeah, the votes are there. President Obama won 3,528,633 votes in 2008, so we wouldn’t even need all of those Kerry voters to come out in 2014 to make it a good year. I understand that Team Obama has a pretty good ground game going around the country. They did particularly well among Latino voters nationally in 2008, and appear poised to do at least as well this year. What do we need to do to convince them to bring that to Texas? That’s what I want to know. TM Daily Post has more.

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  1. PDiddie says:

    California does it. Colorado does it. (‘It” is maximizing Latino turnout, of course.)

    It is a purely capitalistic profit motive: figure out what you need to do to increase your market share, and then do it. Even if your resources are limited.

    Gilberto Hinojosa and OFA need to be having some lengthy conversations, and planning some meetings around the state for January (at the latest).

  2. Gary says:

    I’m not sure we can count on Texas ever being courted by the national Democrats again. Even in the years when it was a swing state (from 1960 to 1976), the Dem Presidential candidates never courted the state by appealing to its interests, the way they have been willing to do with Florida, Ohio, etc. I believe that those who shape the party’s platforms see the state’s economic interests (particularly the mining and refining of fossil fuels) as diametrically opposed to most other members of their coalition, which are all energy consuming states. You can’t constantly preach against Big Oil and court the votes of a state which depends on it at the same time.

    This doesn’t mean we can’t become a swing state in the near future; just don’t ever expect the national Democratic Party to be a significant part of that effort. I suspect it will depend much more on our development of Latino stars like the Castro brothers energizing the Latino base, and rebuilding the party apparatus.