Say what you may about the Campaign Gang That Can’t Shoot Straight, but gosh darn it, there’s still somebody out there who thinks Wendy Davis will be the next Governor of Texas. I’m not sure what sort of mushrooms they are putting on the pizza down at Battleground Texas, but Jenn Brown still sees a light at the end of the tunnel, despite all evidence that it’s probably the headlamp of an oncoming train.
Do you really think Wendy Davis is going to win?” I asked Jenn Brown, the executive director of Battleground Texas. “I sure do,” she replied. Brown and her top staff may be the only people in Texas who think that Democrat Davis, who is running for governor, can defeat Republican Greg Abbott next week. But the larger question is whether Battleground Texas’s strategy of turning Texas Blue, which is currently married to Davis’s candidacy, can over the next two, four, or six years make Texas, which hasn’t elected a Democrat to statewide office since 1994, or voted for a Democratic presidential candidate since 1976, competitive again.
To be fair, this is the sort of thing you say, even in the midst of an obviously floundering campaign, just to keep the spirits of the troops up. But it’s also part of a longer term strategy. Battleground Texas doesn’t need Wendy Davis to win – though they would certainly love to see it – as much as they need to register enough Democrats to start winning statewide elections. In particular, they would like to do this in the next two years. Failing that, they could try again in six for the 2020 cycle. White voters (or “Anglos” as they so charmingly call them) already technically comprise less than a majority of state residents, but they are far more reliable in terms of showing up on election day and they vote overwhelmingly Republican. But if BT can run up the numbers they are looking for, that could change.
At that point, the GOP can pretty much throw in the towel in terms of presidential elections unless they can get Florida turned around and figure out a way to flip either New York or California back in a red direction. How that happens… well, your guess is as good as mine.