President Donald Trump is causing a major shift in the American political landscape and Republicans are on the losing end.
According to the latest reports, Democrats are making a major effort toward flipping one of the most conservative states in the country – Texas. For decades, Texas has been firmly in Republican hands, but since Trump is so unpopular, GOP control over the state is now being threatened.
The one man who could finally bring down the Republicans in Texas is Beto O’Rourke – he’s the Kennedyesque Democrat running to defeat Republican Senator Ted Cruz.
Turning Texas blue is a persistent Democratic fantasy. And giving Ted Cruz a sound thrashing amounts to a bipartisan passion, although Republicans might prefer that he keep his Senate seat. In 2018, these hopes will collide, supplying an irresistible political drama.
Cruz, for several reasons, has a dangerously low approval rating in Texas—38 percent—and the Democrats have a young, charismatic challenger named Beto O’Rourke, who’s running a campaign similar to Jon Ossoff’s in Georgia, positioning himself as a politician for all Texans. He’s looking to pick up the voters that Cruz has alienated with his relentless rightward tacking, his absence from the state as he focused on his presidential campaign, his acrobatic flip-flops on Donald Trump, and his notorious unlikeability.
… As Austin-based political strategist Brendan Steinhauser put it, it doesn’t hurt that O’Rourke “looks like a damn Kennedy.”
During a recent interview with Vanity Fair, O’Rourke said, “I am not smart enough, and I haven’t hired, you know, the political consultants or pollsters who are smart enough—or think they are smart enough—to have some grand strategy on how to exploit this issue or that person or micro-target this population or the other. I’m just going everywhere, listening and talking with everyone . . . I want to know what is on their minds, what they care about and what they expect from their next senator. Then I want to make sure I can deliver on that.”
Texas has been considered a big prize for several Democrats in recent years, who hoped to turn it from red to blue. Now that may finally come true.
Read more, from Vanity Fair:
In recent years, Democrats and Texas have had a relationship much like Charlie Brown and the football. The Hillary Clinton campaign fantasized about winning Texas, but lost it to Trump by a nine point margin. In the 2014 gubernatorial race, Wendy Davis—the Ivy League-educated, telegenic state senator who rose to national prominence for her marathon filibuster of an anti-abortion bill—was supposed to turn the tide. She lost to former Texas attorney general Greg Abbott by 20 points. “Wendy had all the money, all the energy, the story, the narrative and did no better,” Steinhauser, who served as Senator John Cornyn’s campaign manager and worked for the conservative PAC FreedomWorks, said.
… There’s a school of thought that President Trump changes the equation. Harold Cook, a long-time Democratic strategist in Texas mused, “In a typical year . . . the only thing you have to do in Texas to win an election is be the Republican nominee and avoid getting hit by a bus before Election Day.” But Cook also believes that 2018 could be the atypical year Democrats have waited for. He characterized Beto O’Rourke’s entry into the race as “an embarrassment of riches” that he is “not exactly sure Texas Democrats deserve” at a time when the party could actually break the Republicans’ winning streak. “It is not just wishing because Ted Cruz is an ass. It’s more than that,” Cook said. “To separate this from wishing, you really do have to have an overriding, probably national, cloud over the Republican brand. I can’t think of a bigger cloud than Donald Trump.”
Let’s pray this is true!