Democratic Party official: Texas is 'biggest battleground state in the country'

Texas Democratic Party official Manny Garcia named Texas as the biggest swing state in the country heading into the 2020 elections, emphasizing the state's changing demographics. 

“Texas is the biggest battleground state in the country,” Garcia, an executive director of the Texas Democratic Party, told Hill.TV on Monday. “We are dramatically changing, we’re changing quite rapidly.”

Garcia estimates that from 2014 to 2018, roughly 1.8 million Texans registered to vote, a majority of whom were women and people of color.

“To put that number into perspective, that’s like the entire voting age population of New Mexico,” he said in reference to the uptick.

Garcia noted that the state, which has long been a Republican stronghold, is now less than 10 seats away from flipping the Texas House, saying the state boasts "more congressional targets here than any state in the country."

He added that some Senate races are already within the margin of error, saying President TrumpDonald John TrumpBiden leads Trump by 36 points nationally among Latinos: poll Trump dismisses climate change role in fires, says Newsom needs to manage forest better Jimmy Kimmel hits Trump for rallies while hosting Emmy Awards MORE isn’t very popular in the state, even though the president carried the state by 9 points in the 2016 presidential election.

“When you ask Texans if they would vote for Donald Trump or someone else, someone else currently wins,” he said.

Garcia’s comments come amid a flurry of Republican retirements in the House. 

Rep. Kenny MarchantKenny Ewell MarchantHouse Ethics panel recommends ,000 fine for Rep. Schweikert's campaign finance violations Candace Valenzuela wins Texas runoff to replace retiring Rep. Marchant Ethics Committee reviewing Rep. Sanford Bishop's campaign spending MORE (R-Texas) announced Monday morning that he would not be seeking reelection in Texas's 24th congressional district, where he has been serving since 2005. Last year, the nine-term congressman won reelection over Democratic contender Jan McDowell by just a 3-point margin. 

Merchant is now the fourth Republican from Texas to retire in recent weeks, following Reps. Will HurdWilliam Ballard HurdHillicon Valley: Oracle confirms deal with TikTok to be 'trusted technology provider' | QAnon spreads across globe, shadowing COVID-19 | VA hit by data breach impacting 46,000 veterans House approves bill to secure internet-connected federal devices against cyber threats House Democrats' campaign arm reserves .6M in ads in competitive districts MORE, Mike ConawayKenneth (Mike) Michael ConawayLive coverage: Democrats, Republicans seek to win PR battle in final House impeachment hearing Laughter erupts at hearing after Democrat fires back: Trump 'has 5 Pinocchios on a daily basis' Live coverage: Schiff closes with speech highlighting claims of Trump's corruption MORE, and Pete Olsen.

In total, there are now 11 House Republicans planning to retire or seek another office next year, potentially leaving some districts up for grabs.

The Cook Political Report has already move some of these areas, including Hurd's own district, from “Toss Up” to “Lean Democratic," setting up a contentious battle for Democrats and Republicans in 2020.

—Tess Bonn