Democrats Make Inroads Toward Turning Texas Blue

Monday, 15 Jul 2013 09:42 AM

By Audrey Hudson

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A fledgling fundraising machine for Texas Democrats that has generated more than $1 million in its first few months — to bring Latinos and African Americans into the party fold — could be a major player in a Hillary Clinton presidential run.

Battleground Texas was formed in February by an Obama campaign operative. Now, after two significant fundraisers, Politico reports, the effort is gaining traction.

"We’re proud of what we’ve accomplished in just a few short months, but we know there is much more work to be done," Jenn Brown, the group's executive director, said in a statement.

"Moving forward, Battleground Texas will continue to grow this grass-roots movement and engage Texans — on the phones and the doors and in their neighborhoods," Brown said.

The news comes as the race gets underway to replace retiring Republican Gov. Rick Perry.

Republican Attorney General Greg Abbott has thrown his hat into the ring and Democrats are watching state Sen. Wendy Davis to see if the abortion-rights advocate who captured national attention last month enters the race.

Battleground Texas also is shaping up to be a fundraising machine for Hillary Clinton if she decides to enter the 2016 presidential campaign, the Dallas Morning News reports.

But with Texas in the solid red category, political watchers speculate Democrats won't become competitive for several more years.

Mitt Romney won Texas by 1.2 million votes and 16 points in November. Democrats acknowledge that it may be hard to make enough gains to turn the state blue before 2020, the year they hope to make Texas a key presidential swing state.

Battleground Texas is the brainchild of Jeremy Bird, the Obama campaign’s former field director, who hopes to continue the successful use of grassroots manpower and data mining to deliver the state to the Democratic Party.



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