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View Diary: Daily Kos Elections Live Digest: 11/8 (450 comments)

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  •  Do we contest it? (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    MattTX

    That's the big determining factor. Any sort of attempt to flip the state will be concerned with targeting Hispanics, perhaps more than anything else. The latest Census figures suggest that they are 38.10 percent of the population, so there's quite a bit of room to grow by simply turning more of them out.

    Of course, you also need to make progress with white voters. If there's one possible easy thing about this state, it's that many of its voters are concentrated in less than 20 percent of the counties. The sort of door knocking efforts can be appropriately concentrated in a relatively small number of counties, appropriately scaled. Also, more generally speaking, figure that any sort of competent campaign could probably increase our share of the white vote just by trying. We'd need some luck and some skill to make serious gains, but just by being there, we'd probably see some improvement.

    "The election of Mitt Romney and a supporting congress this November would be a...disaster for America. Think of the trainwreck that has been the Conservative government in Britain since 2010. And square it."--Brad DeLong

    by bjssp on Thu Nov 08, 2012 at 11:17:51 AM PST

    [ Parent ]

    •  Turnout was DOWN in TX in 2012 (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      WisJohn, Englishlefty, condorcet, skibum59

      Like you say, contesting it is the big determining factor.

      It's not practical, I don't think to think that TX could genuinely be competitive in 2016. With an all out effort, it could shift a few points, but more than a few points are needed.

      BUT... Turnout was DOWN outright in TX in 2012. I think a lot of that, and some of Obama's lost ground in TX in 2012, is because of the effect of the contested TX Primary in 2008. That was a BIG event. Dem turnout was down by a lot in some of the places where the fever was hottest in 2008 - like Austin and Denton - even though both of those places have had a lot of population growth since 2008.

      There was none of the spirit of 2008, which really came from that brief moment of the TX primary in 2008 - which is the only time TX Democrats have mattered for anything in recent memory. The atmosphere of the TX primary is what could be rekindled if there were ever a serious effort to contest TX, or even just an all out registration campaign in preparation for contesting TX in the future.

      The other question is - what is OFA going to do for the next 4 years, now that their primary mission of re-electing Obama is accomplished? They now have the luxury of being able to think longer term, and have the ability to create a legacy for the future of the democratic party, if they choose to do so.

      What they should do, IMO, is shift their focus from states like Ohio, and they should go BIG into a few states like Texas, Arizona, and Georgia where there are huge numbers of unregistered minorities, and where the demographics are moving in Democrats' favor, and conduct the biggest and most concerted voter registration campaign in history.

      See how many people can be registered in those states. If enough can be registered, at least some of those states could be contested in 2016 (more GA and AZ than TX). If not 2016, the demographics will be such that they could be seriously contested in 2020.

      •  As a rule, I'm skeptical about Texas (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        WisJohn, lordpet8, bjssp, skibum59

        But this seems like a good plan

      •  It's also a question of who our nominee is. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        MattTX

        Someone like Warner or Schweitzer could probably compete fairly easily. Someone like Cuomo, maybe not so much.

        All of your concerns are quite sensible, but all of your suggestions can also be applied to Texas, even if it's less so in Texas than in Georgia. The Democratic base is higher in Georgia, but there are probably more unregistered or unmobilized minorities in the state than there are in Georgia. Looks we are thinking similarly, even if you are more skeptical than me.

        I just can't help but think of the state as filled with untapped potential. I mean, take just Harris County, which had about 1,185,000 voters. The overall population in the country is about 4,181,000, 3,015,000 of which are older than 18. FAIR estimated that about 7.40 of the overall population is illegal. I'll bump that up a little bit to 15 percent, just to be extreme, for Harris County, which means we have about 452,000 adults that can't vote. Subtracting that from 3,015,000 gives us 2,563,000 people. Now assume 5 percent can't or won't ever vote. That chops off about 128,000 more people, leaving us with 2,435,000 potential voters.

        Assuming my numbers are not horribly off, that leaves us with turnout of 48.66 percent. Let's bump up turnout to 55 percent and give our candidate 55 percent of the county's vote. That brings the total voter pool to about 1,339,000 and gives our candidate about 736,000 votes, compared to Obama's 585,000 or so. That's an extra 151,000 votes, just from this one county. Added to his state total, this would be about 3,445,000 votes, up from about 3,294,000, out of a new total of about 8,113,000 votes, up from about 7,962,000.  That's 42,46 percent, a nice increase considering we're talking about just one county under what I think are conservative assumptions.

        "The election of Mitt Romney and a supporting congress this November would be a...disaster for America. Think of the trainwreck that has been the Conservative government in Britain since 2010. And square it."--Brad DeLong

        by bjssp on Thu Nov 08, 2012 at 12:12:44 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Yeah, that's what OFA should be doing (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          bjssp, bumiputera, Englishlefty

          There are about 2 million registered voters in Harris County. By your numbers, which seem very plausible to me, that means there are more than 500,000 eligible unregistered voters just in Harris County.

          And only ~1.1 million of the registered voters actually voted.

          There is indeed so much untapped potential.

          And the thing is, it's the same exact thing in Dallas, Fort Worth, Austin, and San Antonio.

          And plenty more in El Paso, McAllen, and even in smaller cities like Lubbock.

          •  And that's why (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Englishlefty

            I focus on this so much. You can safely ignore much of the state (as rough as that sounds, it's true) and work like a dog on a relatively small number of very vote-rich counties.

            "The election of Mitt Romney and a supporting congress this November would be a...disaster for America. Think of the trainwreck that has been the Conservative government in Britain since 2010. And square it."--Brad DeLong

            by bjssp on Thu Nov 08, 2012 at 12:31:51 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

    •  White Voters (6+ / 0-)

      You're right, getting 20% of the vote with White voters just won't do. With that number, it could be until 2040 rather than 2030 that TX is genuinely competitive.

      IMO, Democrats should make absolutely no effort (exaggerating only slightly) to appeal to rural whites in TX. It is not possible. Instead, Dems should focus like a laser on appealing to urban whites in DFW, Austin, and Houston who live in the 21st century, and try and bump those White percentages up just ever so slightly with those voters.

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