Project Wonderful

Saturday, January 26, 2013

Let's Mess With Texas

National Democrats are taking steps to create a large-scale independent group aimed at turning traditionally conservative Texas into a prime electoral battleground, crafting a new initiative to identify and mobilize progressive voters in the rapidly-changing state, strategists familiar with the plans told POLITICO.

The organization, dubbed “Battleground Texas,” plans to engage the state’s rapidly growing Latino population, as well as African-American voters and other Democratic-leaning constituencies that have been underrepresented at the ballot box in recent cycles. Two sources said the contemplated budget would run into the tens of millions of dollars over several years - a project Democrats hope has enough heft to help turn what has long been an electoral pipe dream into reality.

Remember when I said Jeremy Bird and 270 Strategies would take on bold, exciting projects? I wasn't just whistling dixie. Behold: Battleground Texas. The idea is not new. For years Texas Democrats have been contemplating how to harness the power of Texas' large and growing youth and minority population, but as this Politico article points out, until now that project has lacked adequate funding and national attention. Enter Jeremy Bird and a “a grassroots organization that will make Texas a battleground state by treating it like one.”

On the one hand, having spent this past election day in Texas, I can tell you this is going to be a tough row to hoe. Reports are not exaggerating when they say the project would take tens of millions of dollars to be successful. On the other hand, if done correctly it could change the electoral map a we know it and force national politics in a more progressive direction as the Republican Party is forced to compete for the youth and Latino vote or die. As ambitious as the project is, as an organizer there is something incredibly sexy to me about saying "Let's take this seemingly impossible task, figure out a plan and do it." And I'm not about to be on the wrong side of underestimating expanding the electorate again.

As a very wise cheerleader once said, Bring it On!

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