Raising money to register Republicans

Just keeping an eye on things.

Still the only voter ID anyone should need

A new super PAC focused on registering new Republican voters in Texas has raised nearly $10 million from some of the state’s biggest GOP donors, according to its first report to the Federal Election Commission.

Filed early Wednesday morning, the disclosure shows that the political action committee, Engage Texas, took in $9.6 million between when it registered with the FEC in mid-April and when the reporting period ended June 30. It spent $336,000 and has $9.3 million in the bank.

“This significant investment in resources will help us reach Texans in every corner of the state to educate them about Texas’ successful, conservative principles and engage them in the political process,” Engage Texas Chairman Mano de Ayala said in a statement.

Engage Texas launched in mid-June with the promise of signing up and turning out hundreds of thousands of new GOP voters to help keep the state red in 2020. The super PAC is led by Chris Young, a former top staffer at the Republican National Committee.


It appears Engage Texas has wasted little time getting to work, reporting 17 people on payroll through June in addition to Young. One of them is Kristy Wilkinson, who was deputy campaign manager for Gov. Greg Abbott’s reelection bid last year and previously the Republican National Committee’s Texas state director.

The group says it has already opened offices in Austin, Houston and the Dallas-Fort Worth area. It also has dispatched organizers to begin work in Bell, Blanco, Collin, Dallas, Denton, Fort Bend, Harris, Hays, Lampasas, Tarrant, Travis and Williamson counties.

See here for the background. This to me falls somewhere in between “legitimate threat to Democratic efforts in 2020” and “awesome get-rich-quick scheme for Republican consultants”, I just don’t know exactly where yet. I don’t think a lack of registered voters has been the issue for Republicans in the last couple of elections, but if this is more of a turnout effort then I think they could have a real effect. It would have been a much bigger disaster for them in 2018 if they hadn’t had near-Presidential levels of turnout on their side. Like I said, worth keeping an eye on but to be determined how big a deal this is.

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2 Responses to Raising money to register Republicans

  1. Tom in Lazybrook says:

    Im not sure these groups are as worried about statewide Texas as they are worried about retaining the Texas House for the GOP. I expect their focus to be in those districts plus the Congressional races.

    Identifying and motivating disengaged voters is usually far more expensive per voter than even convincing existing voters to switch. Suburban women and Gary Johnson voters did pull away from the GOP last cycle.

    Basically I suspect this will entail them identifying Republicans who didnt vote in 2018 and pleading with them to vote in 2020. But most of those voters will be showing up anyway in the Presidential year.

  2. Paul Kubosh says:

    I agree completely with kuffner. This could either be a legitimate registration drive or a get-rich-quick scheme. if there’s one thing I’ve learned from reading this blog is that the Democrats have more numbers than the Republicans do when it comes to register voters. If they can stay away from the social issues they may have a shot. When I talk about the social issues I mean bathroom bills and the like. We shall see. I had employees working second jobs registering voters during the Beto race. I have never had employees working second jobs for republicans. What does that tell you?

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