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The Democrats’ voter registration strategy

From the Texas Signal:

Still the only voter ID anyone should need

[Last] Monday, the Texas Democratic Party announced the largest voter registration program in the history of the state. This massive effort will be done in conjunction with Fair Fight, a voting rights organization started by Stacey Abrams.

“Fair Fight is proud to partner with the Texas Democratic Party to fund, train and support a robust voter protection initiative through our Fair Fight 2020 initiative,” Seth Bringman, a spokesperson for Fair Fight, told ABC News. “Republicans in Texas have, for a long time, sought to make it harder to vote, particularly for voters of color, and it takes a dedicated voter protection team on the ground well before Election Day to make sure all Texans’ voices can be heard.”

[…]

To get Texans voting, the Texas Democratic Party and Fair Fight will seek to register 2.6 million potential new Democrats through machine-learning-based models, a year-round voter assistance hotline, hundreds of thousands of registration applications sent by mail, and 1,000 organizers and canvassers on the ground.

That’s a lot of voters, and this is a very ambitious project. It’s worth putting some numbers on all this, so let’s hit the highlights from the TDP press release:

More highlights from the programs include:

  • We are going to have 1,000 field organizers and canvassers on the ground in 2020.

  • The Texas Democratic Party is gearing up to mail hundreds of thousands of voter registration applications to unregistered voters across the state.

  • We’re launching a year-round voter assistance hotline.

  • We are building machine-learning-based models to quickly identify the partisanship-leaning of new and low propensity voters so that campaigns can mobilize Democratic voters.

  • We are hiring dedicated staff to engage every part of our Democratic coalition — including our AAPI, African-American, Latinx, LGBTQ+, youth, and Disability communities — and to narrow the gap in rural committees.

  • The Texas Democratic Party is working alongside fellow Democratic organizations to ensure these young voters are pinpointed for voter registration and mobilization.

By the numbers:

  • We anticipate the voter rolls will swell to upwards of 18,000,000 registered voters in 2020.

  • The Texas Democratic Party is focused on registering the estimated 2,600,000 Texans who are likely to vote Democratic if they register to vote.

  • At the congressional level, we estimate there are 495,000 potential new Democrats in the eight DCCC-targeted districts.

  • We estimate 210,000 potential new Democrats in the 12 state house districts that flipped in 2018. Additionally, there are 315,000 potential new Democrats in 18 targeted State House districts for 2020.

This accompanying document goes into more detail, and it’s worth reading through. One useful tidbit noted was that a smaller version of this registered 133,000 new voters in the 2018 cycle, and 120,000 of them turned out. That’s pretty good. There’s a bunch of charts in that last link, one of which shows voter registration totals over time, but to reiterate:

November 2008 = 13,575,062
November 2010 = 13,269,233
November 2012 = 13,646,226
November 2014 = 14,025,441
November 2016 = 15,101,087
November 2018 = 15,793,257
January 2020 = 16,106,984

Lot more growth in the last six years than in the first, but we’re still a long way from 18 million. Republicans of course are also seeking to register voters, which is rather a departure from past behavior on their part. I’d like to see some journalism about this effort in proportion to what I’ve seen about Engage Texas, and I’d very much like to see some followup reporting as the year goes along – we will see official registration numbers for March, at least – to see how this is proceeding. In the meantime, if you want to Do Something about 2020, helping out this effort would be an excellent place to start.

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4 Comments

  1. blank says:

    And, the DCCC has decided to go after Crenshaw.

    https://www.houstonchronicle.com/news/houston-texas/houston/article/Democrats-intensify-push-for-Crenshaw-s-CD-2-14984337.php

    This is certainly a stretch goal but doable in a very good year. Crenshaw has plenty of money to defend himself.

  2. […] here for the background. The correlation with the growth in urban voter registration is no surprise. […]

  3. Tom in Lazybrook says:

    Crenshaw will have as much money as he asks for. It might not make that much of a difference. His record appears to be 100% pro gun, 100% anti gay, 100% in favor of Trumps border policy, in support of hunting exotic animals in Africa, supportive of free speech by Conservatives but also supportive/neutral of suppression of non-Conservative speech, and supports Trump on just about everything. All of these issues run against the district. All the Dem needs is enough money to get her or his message out to be competitive.

  4. Bill Daniels says:

    Tom,

    I disagree, and I can report that lots of Trump supporters are not too happy with Crenshaw. He’s been critical of Trump quite a few times for reasons I didn’t agree with. He’s also made pro gun control comments that NO Trump supporters agree with. . I think he’s a RINO that just traded on his wartime service to get a seat in Congress, John McCain style. If I was in his district, I’d vote against him if there was a primary challenger.

    He’s an opportunist. He’s not there to MAGA, he’s there to promote Dan Crenshaw.