Is Texas a Political Battleground?

After Democrats’ drubbing last November, could Texas still turn blue?

By David BrownFebruary 26, 2015 11:40 am|

Battleground Texas made a big splash in the run up to Texas’ 2014 gubernatorial election. Battleground Texas was launched in early 2013 with the stated purpose of turning Texas into a state where Democrats stood a fighting chance at state office by treating it like one.

By late 2013, with an ascendant Democratic star in Wendy Davis, the group began to lay the groundwork for challenging Texas’ Republican domination, admitting all along, it would likely be a long, hard fight and Texas wouldn’t “turn blu” overnight.

State Democrats were walloped last year.

Battleground Texas executive director Jenn Brown was front-and-center for the midterm elections last year. The Standard spoke with Brown about what her group is anticipating in the 2015 election cycle – and asked her to address her group’s optimism and positive attitude in the face of such a resounding defeat.

She told us:

On why Democrats are not turning out in the polls?

“One of the biggest thing that is happening in Texas right now is that republicans have passed fairly extreme voter suppression laws in a lot of different arenas. One is voter registration where there are laws that try to really try to prohibit people from running registration drives. They passed a strict I.D. law to keep voters away from the polls and they’ve done redistricting in a way where there’s very few competitive elections. All these things are because they’re looking at the same numbers as we are.”

On what the battleground brings to the battlefront that democrats have not done before:

“It is a organization full now of 34,000 people and growing every single day and those are Texans that are talking to their friends talking to their co workers that are really in charge of their neighborhood and together they know that they’re making a real difference.”

On looking forward to 2015:

“We have three big things that were going to be doing. The first is that we are going to be continuing our voter registration we know that new registrants will turn out in Texas and that we need to keep bringing them in. The second is that we are going to be working with local candidates particular where we have volunteers who are really excited about a local candidate who they want to support. The third is leadership development from volunteers to staff to candidates we are going to continue training and bringing new people into the process and empowering people who are already engaged.”

a previous version of this story misstated the date that Battleground Texas launched.