As Democratic Candidates Look To Super Tuesday, Texas Could Prove To Be A Bigger Prize Than In Years Past

Over 200 delegates are up for grabs as candidates pour more money than usual into their Texas campaigns.

By Jill AmentFebruary 13, 2020 3:21 pm

Bernie Sanders won the most votes in Tuesday’s New Hampshire primary election. But that doesn’t capture the totality of the results. Pete Buttigieg came in a close second, earning fewer votes but the same number of delegates as Sanders. And Amy Klobuchar made strides since the Iowa caucuses, coming in third. Also, Mike Bloomberg got a bump through an endorsement by Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner, and Bloomberg wasn’t even on the New Hampshire ballot.

Sherri Greenberg is a professor at the University of Texas at Austin’s LBJ School of Public Affairs. She says that Turner’s endorsement of Bloomberg, in particular, was a big deal because the former New York City mayor has invested a lot of money into campaigning in Texas. Bloomberg will be on the ballot there on Super Tuesday, March 3.

“It fits in with a plan that we have seen him implement around the country,” Greenberg says. “That is, partially seeking support from mayors, particularly African American mayors, in cities that he thinks are going to be imperative for him to gain the delegates that he needs.”

But Bloomberg isn’t the only candidate pouring resources into Texas. Sanders, Buttigieg and Elizabeth Warren have all done the same. And that’s important because according to conventional wisdom, Texas isn’t usually a place worth the effort for Democrats in a primary. But Greenberg says as Texas demographics change, so do political trends there.

“This is a big, big change,” she says.” Texans’ money is staying here, money from outside is coming in and people are coming in.”

Greenberg says Democrats are more willing to campaign in Texas because, together, they represent a wide political spectrum – from progressive to moderate. There’s a chance some of them might appeal to Republicans, Independents or undecideds.

Doing well in Texas would be a big deal for any one of these candidates, Greenberg says, because the state has over 200 delegates who will go to the Democratic National Convention in July and vote for the nominee.

“Texas is a gold mine,” she says.


Written by Caroline Covington.