Courtesy of Texas Democratic Party
Volunteers block walk San Antonio neighborhoods in support of Ray Lopez, the Democrat who recently won a Texas House seat in a special election.
If Texas doesn't turn blue in 2020, it won't be because the Democrats didn't try.
Eager to realize a decades-old dream of flipping what until recently was thought of as a redder-than-red state, Dems have launched what they're billing as the largest voter registration program in Texas history. The campaign will also go hand-in-hand with an effort to keep legitimate voters from being purged from the rolls.
“Texas is the biggest battleground state in the country," Texas Democratic Party Deputy Executive Director Cliff Walker said in a written statement. "We know that our democracy works better when more people vote, not less. The rapidly emerging Democratic coalition in Texas has set the stage for historic Democratic gains at the ballot box."
Democrats aim to build on 2018 victories — including picking up 12 seats in the Texas House and two in the Texas Senate — by targeting unregistered voters receptive to their message. Under their plan, the state party will work with the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee to register some 2.6 million potential new Texas Democrats.
The party's ground game will include 1,000 field organizers and canvassers plus robust outreach to young voters and groups such as the Latinx, LGBTQ+ and other communities who feel besieged by the Trump administration.
While Democrats have seen recent gains in the Lone Star State, Southern Methodist University Political Science Professor Cal Jillson told ABC news
the new efforts are unlikely to flip it. Still, they could pay off in suburban areas which have increasingly turned away from Trump and the GOP.
"Texas is a battleground state in places. And those places are the suburbs of the major cities of Texas," Jillson said.
He added: "There are battles all over the state, particularly in U.S. House races, and Texas House and Senate races. There are battlegrounds all over the state, even if the state is not yet a battleground."
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