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Republicans are worried about Texas, part 583

When was the last time you head about a Republican-oriented mass voter registration effort?

Still the only voter ID anyone should need

Wealthy Republican donors are preparing a multimillion-dollar effort to register more than 1 million new GOP voters in Texas for 2020 amid anxiety that President Trump could be in more trouble in this reliably red state than some in the party realize.

Richard Weekley, a Houston real estate developer and veteran Republican campaign contributor, is spearheading the new group, dubbed Engage Texas. According to GOP sources, the organization 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.

“In 2018, we got hammered not only in the urban areas but in the suburbs, too,” Cornyn, 67, told the Washington Examiner. The third-term senator, who has sounded the alarm about the dangers of taking Texas for granted, described with a sense of relief the “substantial focus and investment, now, that will be made on voter registration.”

[…]

Some Republicans have attributed the outcome last fall, in which the GOP also suffered losses in state legislative races, to Cruz’s unpopularity and the resources invested by O’Rourke and his allies, a feat Democrats are unlikely to repeat in a national presidential contest. Senior Republican strategists in Texas are warning against that line of thinking.

“Everybody thinks it was a Cruz-Beto thing. But it’s a mess,” a GOP adviser said, requesting anonymity in order to speak candidly. “Independents are behaving like Democrats — like they did in 2018.”

I wonder if they’ll come to regret supporting politicians who are dedicated to making it hard to register voters. Sure would be nice if y’all could do this electronically, am I right? We should keep an eye on this, but someone with more knowledge of the demography of not-registered voting-age citizens will have to answer the question of whether there are enough likely Republicans (i.e., white people) out there for this to be worth the effort. Link via Political Animal.

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33 Comments

  1. Paul Kubosh says:

    “enough white people”

    Did Manny ghost write this blog.

  2. Manny says:

    Independents are behaving like Americans rather than corrupt, racists, bigots that the Republicans have become.

    Weekly he is a home builder if memory serves me right, wonder why the “conservative home builder” does not work toward making e-verify the law of the land. I am sure that it would not effect the workers that build his homes. If one believes the preceding sentence, I have a bridge I want to sell.

    Paul I did not the word “White” in the article”, is it bothering you that you belong to the Trump lovers?

  3. Bill Daniels says:

    Agree with Paul.

    I find it sad that white liberals actively participate in and support the wypipo bad narrative. Is it low self esteem? Self loathing? If a group I was part of actively and constantly told me I was crap because I was a straight white male, I’d leave, not self flagellate to try and fit in. What I don’t understand is, how a party hijacked fully by hatred of straight, white, Christian men is able to keep any of them as members. Also confusing is how they keep straight, white, Christian women? Don’t they have fathers, husbands, and male children? Don’t they understand that their group vilifies those men in their lives?

  4. voter_worker says:

    Automatic/default registration would take care of this and it wouldn’t cost wealthy Republicans a dime.

  5. Robbie Westmoreland says:

    Harumph, I say! Harumph!
    You have included a single word in your blog post, Mr. Kuffner, and thereby given great offense to all white-thinking people in this land! I mean right-thinking. Right-thinking. Definitely.

  6. C.L. says:

    Ain’t nothing with more registered voters – don’t matter if they’re white, brown, black, green, orange, etc. Problem is getting them to vote, not whether they can or not.

  7. C.L. says:

    Ain’t nothing WRONG with more registered voters…

    Damn you , fat fingers…

  8. Bill Daniels says:

    I am once again calling for a bipartisan appeal to Kuff to add an edit feature for posters.

    Surely this is AOC/Ted Cruz level bipartisanship we can all get behind?

  9. blank says:

    Richard Weekley could save $25 million if we enacted automatic voter registration like that of 15 other states and DC.

  10. Tom in Lazybrook says:

    25 million is a lot of money. That being said, I suspect the GOP is going to find their dollar per new registrant much more expensive than it is for the Democrats. Since the largest groups of unregistered eligible voters come from demographic groups that favor Democrats, that much of those additional voters will be hard to convince to vote. Its also important to realize that even if they can identify 1 million new GOP net registrants (doubt that will be possible), that will only generate around 600,000 votes. Since 150,000 new voters move to Texas every year that will only delay the inevitable switch if successful. And its not like the Democrats arent ramping up voter registration efforts too.

    —–

    As far as using demographics to discuss GOP voter registration efforts…its completely valid. The GOP knows that their base is almost exclusively Anglo and skews heavily in combination with persons born in Texas/Oklahoma/the Deep South, older voters, those attending church at least once per month, gun ownership, and those without college degrees. It also tends to be male.

    The problem with that is that all of those demographics are falling as a percentage of eligible voters in Texas, and are forecasted to continue doing so.

    The Texas GOP has consistently engaged in policy creation/advocacy/rhetoric that is seen by many people not in the aforementioned demographic groups as anti Mexican, misogynist, homphobic, etc. Theyre kind of stuck with their deck of cards for the time being (with Trump and Dan Patrick), because the GOP isnt going to change that anytime soon. And the biggest reason is that the GOP primary electorate will punish any GOP candidate that deviates from that orthodoxy. So they are stuck with white voters.

    The good news for the GOP is that through 2018, it has been enough to win elections statewide. Mainly because minority and young voter turnout in Texas has lagged that of other states and the Dems haven’t figured out how to resolve it.

    But the dam started to break in 2018, and from the GOP perspective it came from the worst demographic group possible for them….suburban Anglos. I dont think anyone on either side really predicted that.

    The entire system of GOP dominance depends upon carrying and holding white suburban voters by a large margin. Their gerrymandering is dependent upon it too. Beyond the statewide races, control of the Texas House and up to 7 congressional seats are at stake. So not only do they have to find more Anglo voters, they have to find them in specific districts.

    So yes, racial demographics are valid here. I can promise you whomever is running the GOP voter registration effort will be looking at that.

    Even if the Republicans control redistricting in 2021, theyre gonna have a hell of a time gerrymandering so that their electeds are protected for the next 10 years.

  11. Steve Houston says:

    Tom, I agree. And the more the GOP and its members demand conformity on a wide range of issues, it will continue to alienate a growing number of people who will hold their noses to vote for the other side. As CL points points out, GOP voters demanding candidates move further right when the numbers just don’t support it are going to find they are locked out of the race more and more, just ask Ed Emmett.

  12. C.L. says:

    “F’in Ed Emmett and His Astrodome Love Affair” should be the title of a future Roger Corman (or Oliver Stone) film.

  13. voter_worker says:

    I rarely have a “this right here!” moment when reading an opinion piece, but Rubin’s remarks suggest that the situation is more complex than gathering new voter registrations. I’m not inclined to vote for any candidate who is unwilling to take a stand on something this clear-cut.

    https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/2019/06/14/tale-two-women-one-follows-her-oath-other-violates-it/?utm_term=.e148e52a5233

  14. Jason says:

    Roughly half of Hispanic men in Texas vote republican. Depending on the election, some have carried that demographic (Abbot 2014 I believe). So republicans should realize the opportunities available with middle class Hispanics as well.

  15. Jason says:

    That was a long post. If the Republican Party was almost exclusively Anglos Texas would have went blue years ago. If Trump would stop demonizing people the opportunities for Hispanics to vote Republican at greater than the current 40% Are real. Liberals think Hispanics are liberal. They are like whites-all across the spectrum. When trump is gone, things will return to normal.

  16. Bill Daniels says:

    Voter:

    Your link was a joke, right?

    From your link:

    “Remember the name Ellen Weintraub. She’s the Federal Election Commission chairwoman who on Thursday rebuked the president and stood up for the rule of law and for the Constitution that she swore an oath to uphold. In a written statement after President Trump’s assertion that he would listen to a foreign government’s offer of opposition research, Weintraub wrote:

    Let me make something 100% clear to the American public and anyone running for public office. It is illegal for any person to solicit, accept, or receive anything of value from a foreign national in connection with a U.S. election. This is not a novel concept.”

    Guess who Ellen worked for BEFORE she worked for the FEC. Yep, Perkins Coie. THAT Perkins Coie, the one neck deep in funneling DNC/Clinton cash to Russians for dirt on Trump, for Team Hillary. So really, Ellen is going to lecture me on ethics? Lecture me on foreign interference in our elections? I mean, I did get a good laugh out of it, so there’s that.

  17. Tom in Lazybrook says:

    This is just one issue out of thousands that is motivating people to vote Dem. Blackburn’s stance gained the GOP zero votes. They appear so eager to “own the libs” that they continue to do stuff like this. All Blackburn did was insult the intelligence of the voters and motivate the people who dont like Trump to vote against him. Tomorrow there will be another outrage. And the next day…

    You know what is worse for the GOP than leaving 1 million potential unregistered voters on the table? It is motivating 1 million already registered voters who didnt support the Dems or who didnt vote to show up at the polls and vote. Dem MARGIN gain from 2014 to 2016 …. 1 million votes. Dem margin gain from a higher voting Presidential year of 2016 to off year 2018…700,000 votes.

    The GOP seems to be trying to see how mad they can make social moderates and voters who are tired of the Trump circus. Maybe in 2020 theyll primary Will Hurd, Sarah Davis, and a bunch of other GOP moderates that are the only people that can hold their seats.

    When the GOP right wing p*sses off a moderate enough to get them to defect, they then need to find TWO new voters to maintain their margin.

    Weekley is just wringing drops out of an increasingly dry rag. It might be enough for 2020. But it isnt going to be enough going forward.

    The GOP is still favored in Texas, slightly. But theyre going to have to divert 200 million to Texas in order to protect a must win state.

  18. Paul Kubosh says:

    Steve,

    Ed emmitt didn’t campaign. If he thinks he did then that is the problem. There seems to be an I er reliance on the Mammoth group as consultants. I wonder if they were Ed Emmitt’s.

  19. Tom in Lazybrook says:

    Bill, I fail to see how any of your increasingly far fetched *theories* excuses Blackburn stopping a vote on Presidential candidates accepting foreign help.

    Whataboutism, falsehoods, scapegoating, false equivalency, blame shifting and projecting helped the Texas GOP get into this mess. Feel free to keep on digging. The Texas GOP doesnt need 25 million of Weekley’s money. They need to go to Target and buy a mirror for $15.95.

    How does your line of rhetoric help motivate voters to support your candidates?

    Political malpractice is fun to watch.

  20. Bill Daniels says:

    Emmett had no chance, period. It was just that kind of “throw the bums out” election. It wasn’t Emmett’s weird fixation with the Astrodome, it wasn’t that he didn’t disavow Trump hard enough, it wasn’t any of that. Harris County spoke. They want Democrat rule, period. Had a potato been running against Emmett, the potato would have won.

    So now you’ve got a part time translator running the county, you’ve got Police Chief “Hey Ma, I’m on TV” Avocado, you’ve got a D.A. falling all over herself to put serial predators back on the street at every turn, and you’ve got a slate of judges that probably want the same thing….criminals back on the streets as fast as possible.

    So far, the only negative impact from all of this I have had is having one of my employees get hit by an unlicensed, uninsured driver. Guess what? That driver was allowed to drive off, no problem, with a ticket he’ll probably never bother to pay.

    But hey, this is what we voted for, right y’all?

  21. Bill Daniels says:

    Tom,

    Paying for dirt on political opponents from foreign powers is OK, so being offered, but not actually getting any dirt from a foreign power on a political opponent seems fine in my book, too.

    How about Adam Schiff?

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m3Rut64GDgA

    Listen how excited he gets thinking he’s going to get naked pictures of Trump! He’s probably dreaming of which wall in his bedroom to hang it. He knows that accepting dirt from Russians is perfectly OK. Listen to him! He’s as giddy as a school girl on prom night! He’s signalling to foreign governments that it’s OK to dig for info on our politicians. He’s encouraging them to do it. And that’s OK!

    The Texas GOP, as well as the national GOP, lost ground in 2018 because of the ‘insurance policy,’ the attempted coup, the Mueller witchhunt casting a cloud over Team Trump. That’s over now, and now the counter attack is under way, by Durham and Barr. Texas will stay red this time, because voters, like those in Lizzie’s district, are going to be seeing the coup participants getting indicted and hopefully jailed, right as the campaign season is in full swing.

  22. Paul Kubosh says:

    Bill,

    I respectfully disagree. Ed had plenty of money and good will. If he would have campaigned like he wanted to keep his job I believe he would have. His poll numbers had him way ahead (I believe). Maybe he thought they would cross over for him like the last time he won in a blue wave. Either way it is now just an academic discussion.

  23. Tom in Lazybrook says:

    Emmett ran a good race. Beto won Harris by 16.7 percent. Emmett lost Harris County by 1.60 percent. While it is true that Sarah Davis did win her race, I suspect thay Beto didnt win HD134 by 16.7 percent and Davis was a social moderate who could credibly argue she was standing up against the far right. Emmett appointed conservatives to most openings as Commissioner.

    Im not sure straight ticket voting or ballot placement would have done much. Abbott lost Harris worse than Emmett did.

    What should scare the far right is that I dont think theres much, if any, buyers remorse over that race. Hidalgo was clearly unqualified in most ways but one. She is not a Republican.

    What I havent figured out is why the City of Houston doesnt move to partisan elections with primaries and runoffs. Maybe they cant do so by state law.

  24. Paul Kubosh says:

    Tom,

    I thought you were more plugged in to the local political scene. Emmitt didn’t run a race. No one at the poles no advertising, nothing.

  25. Tom in Lazybrook says:

    I saw tons on Ed Emmett political ads. And I saw him at plenty of democratic leaning events too. The effort was made. And no other Republican official in Harris County was as successful as Emmett at gaining crossover votes. It was almost enough.

  26. Jules says:

    Emmett has been popular with Democrats. He lost because of voters like me who will not vote for the party of Trump.

  27. Steve Houston says:

    Paul, I have to agree with Tom. I received a number of printed ads for Ed, both from his campaign and from others that were piggybacking on his supposed popularity, and he was the pick of the slates as well. Contrasting that, I saw nothing from Hidalgo and she was as unknown as it gets, and still is to many, a part time translator working her way through college at the time.

    As much as his love of the Astrodome or long time do-nothing stance about flooding may have cost him a few votes, I suspect a lot of hardcore Republicans didn’t like his willingness to work with Mayor Turner so much, the two of them coming across as political pals enough to elicit plenty of harsh comments from the usual partisan hacks, but if received no ads for his campaign, I can’t help but wonder which primary you voted in or if you haven’t made any donations to GOP candidates recently.

  28. Tom in Lazybrook says:

    Which makes me wonder why Sylvester Turner hasn’t tried to tar King as being a Republican and Buzbee for raising 500,000 for Trump.

    The entry of Dwight Boykins complicates that strategy though.

  29. Paul Kubosh says:

    Steve, another guy I thought was better connected. Have a great Father day.

  30. C.L. says:

    Few things sadden me more than the President of our country calling people’s names – Sleepy Stan, Lazy Larry, Tom the Transient, etc. – but when frequent posters (lets call him..Phil) resort to the same, or at least equivalent tactic or behavior, it diminishes any respect I had for his/her opinion, finding myself instantly dismissing it.

  31. Steve Houston says:

    Tom, I suspect he is letting them (or their followers) start that process by themselves. I’ve seen it mentioned dozens of times how King ran for office as a democrat and how Buzbee & King donated lots of money to democrats. The more those two angles get played up, the less likely truly conservative voters are going to bother with either of them. Boykins running still seems like one of the real candidates paid him to run, then perhaps switch to running for his current council seat at the last moment, but nobody seems to think he will garner enough votes to even merit becoming a spoiler candidate.

    Paul, I’ve cut way back on attending meetings or participating in local politics. No matter which side you choose, the egos involved, the demands some marginal characters make, and the circle jerk nature of what typically gets accomplished makes it a waste of time.

    CL, agreed.

  32. Paul Kubosh says:

    Well Steve, I have to agree with you on that one. Have a good night.

  33. Bill Daniels says:

    Political nicknames didn’t originate with Trump, they have a long, proud history. Remember Sarah “Caribou Barbie” Palin? At this point I’m almost afraid to mention Boykins’ campaign manager, Lee “Out of Town” Brown, or Wendy “Abortion Barbie” Davis. Then there’s “Drumpf,” “Orange Man bad,” Cheeto Mussolini,
    “President Small Hands,” etc. I don’t think I’m the only one on here that has used nicknames in referencing public figures.