Following up on an item from April, there is a concerted Democratic effort underway to make Texas a more competitive electoral battleground. The effort, dubbed "Battleground Texas," is being led by former Obama for America field director Jeremy Bird, and it seems to have rattled some Texas Republicans.
Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst (R), for example, recently said, "Over our dead bodies are we going to let this state turn blue." State Attorney General Greg Abbott described the Democratic campaign as "an assault far more dangerous than what the leader of North Korea threatened when he said he was going to add Austin, Texas, as one of the recipients of his nuclear weapons."
Take Texas GOP chairman Steve Munisteri's efforts to drum up support for "Battlefield Dallas," an attempt by Dallas Republicans to counter the Battleground Texas push. Munisteri flew up to Dallas for an event and said all the right things during his speech.It was billed of "the first public meeting of Battlefield Dallas." But a Tea Party Republican made the headlines when he had this to say about GOP voter outreach efforts."I'm going to be real honest with you, the Republican Party doesn't want black people to vote if they're going to vote 9-to-1 for Democrats," Ken Emanuelson said.
First, when the RNC wonders why the party struggles with minority outreach, and Tea Partiers wonder why they've developed an unfortunate reputation, I hope they'll keep this quote in mind.
Second, I'm generally skeptical of the Democratic efforts to turn Texas "blue," at least in the short term, but it appears some Republicans in the state really are concerned -- at least concerned enough to say ridiculous things.
And third, does Emanuelson's quote suggest African-American voters in Texas should expect a new round of voter-suppression efforts?