Statewide group battles to turn Texas ‘blue’
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Democrats are officially laying out their battle plan in an effort to transform the Lone Star State from 'red' to 'blue.'
President Obama's former national field director Jeremy Bird is leading the effort, but knows it won't happen overnight.
“This is a long term process and we have to work with the fierce urgency of now and start today," he said.
Democrats across the nation want the state--and its 38 Electoral College votes--to turn in their favor. The group is focusing on a growing Hispanic population and young voters. Members of Battleground Texas believe the state has the people, but not the voter turnout, to become blue.
"It's so massive, it matters so much in our politics nationally. It matters so much in terms of the policy that effects the rest of the country," Bird said.
Organizers want to use an approach that's similar to how they worked to get President Obama elected.
"At coffee shops, at work, Internet, phone calls, everywhere that people go, why not make it a conversation?” Volunteer Pamela Peters said. “I talk to people at H-E-B in line."
But some Democrats admit it might be difficult to change the minds of some in the Lone Star State.
"My problem is, most of the working guys I talk to, they spout out that Michael Savage stuff and the Rush Limbaugh stuff," Texas Democrat John Denson said.
The group also wants to increase the competition between politicians across the state.
"You shouldn't be the president of this country without fighting for every single vote in Texas, and you shouldn't represent Texas in the Senate or State House unless you fight for every single vote,” Bird said. “That's what we're going to make every one of these Republican candidates do that.”
The majority of Texans haven't voted for a Democratic president since Jimmy Carter won the 1976 election.
A similar effort was made in Florida before the 2008 and 2012 presidential elections. Those efforts paid off, and the state went to President Obama both years.