The GOP is upping its game, beefing up resources in Texas amid fears of a potential blue shift in the Lone Star State.
Donors are reportedly strengthening efforts in the state and primarily focusing on GOP voter registration efforts. The broad goal involves registering at least one million new Republican voters ahead of 2020. One specific group, Engage Texas, led by Houston real estate developer Richard Weekley, hopes to raise millions ahead of the presidential election.
According to reports from the Washington Examiner, Engage Texas was “set up as a 501(c)4, political nonprofit organization and plans to raise and spend $25 million by Election Day next year.”
Engage Texas has garnered the support of top Republicans in the state and appears to have the support of party insiders in Washington. They believe the group could be critical to compensating for demographic trends that favor the Democrats — and to holding Texas for Trump and GOP Sen. John Cornyn.
While Texas has remained red for the better part of 20 years, the midterm elections sparked a fire underneath GOP supporters and donors. Sen. Ted Cruz (D-TX) narrowly defeated Democrat Beto O’Rourke– 50.9 percent to 48.3 percent. Of course, O’Rourke lost despite tremendous support from Hollywood and double the campaign contributions– $70.2 million to Cruz’s $33.4 million.
Recent polls are also sparking concerns. A Quinnipiac University Poll released early June showed President Trump facing tough match-ups in the Lone Star State.
According to the poll, Biden leads Trump in the state 48–44 percent. In other scenarios, Trump narrowly edges out potential competitors, leading Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) by one point, Sen. Bernie Sanders (D-VT) by three points, and former U.S. Rep. Beto O’Rourke (D) by three points.
From May 29 – June 4, Quinnipiac University surveyed 1,159 Texas voters with a margin of error of +/- 3.4 percentage points, including the design effect. The survey includes 407 Democrats and Democratic leaners with a margin of error of +/- 5.8 percentage points, including the design effect.
The results were as follows:
- President Trump at 46 percent to Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren at 45 percent;
- Trump at 47 percent to Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders at 44 percent;
- Trump at 48 percent to former U.S. Rep. Beto O’Rourke with 45 percent;
- Trump with 46 percent to South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg’s 44 percent;
- Trump at 47 percent to California Sen. Kamala Harris at 43 percent;
- Trump with 46 percent and former San Antonio Mayor Julian Castro at 43 percent.
While Trump secured Texas in 2016 with 52.2 percent support, the GOP does not want to take it for granted and is making it clear that it will fight to keep Texas red.
Without Texas, there is virtually no path to victory, Republican Party of Texas chairman James Dickey said.
“Without our 38 electoral votes, no Republican candidate has a path to victory for the foreseeable future. That is why we are asking for the support of people around the country,” Dickey told Breitbart Washington editor Matt Boyle on Sirius XM’s Breitbart News Saturday.
Because of that, the GOP is launching a counter-initiative to secure the state’s red status. Engage Texas wants to register as many GOP voters as possible. It believes there could be “as many as two million unregistered GOP voters.”
“Adding them to the rolls could ensure that Texas continues to perform as a red state, even as Democrats make gains there,” the Washington Examiner reports.