Texas Democrats unveil 'path to victory' plan for 2020

Texas Democrats are launching a coordinated effort to increase voter turnout as they look to turn the state blue in races up and down the ballot next year. 

The party’s “path to victory” plan, released Monday, is centered on expanding the vote by registering 2.6 million Texans and coordinating campaigns across the state ahead of the 2020 election. 

It was released just days ahead of the third Democratic presidential primary debate, which is being held in Houston.

Texas is a longtime Republican stronghold, but Democrats have made gains in recent elections, giving Democrats hope to flip the state blue, though it is still seen as a daunting task.

President TrumpDonald John TrumpFederal watchdog accuses VOA parent company of wrongdoing under Trump appointee Lawsuit alleges 200K Georgia voters were wrongly purged from registration list Ivanka Trump gives deposition in lawsuit alleging misuse of inauguration funds MORE won Texas by 9 points in 2016, the worst showing for a Republican presidential candidate in 20 years, and recent polls have shown a competitive race in 2020.  

Meanwhile, former Rep. Beto O'RourkeBeto O'RourkeMexican president breaks with other world leaders, refusing to acknowledge Biden win until election is finalized Mexico emerging as foreign policy challenge for Biden Beyoncé sports pro-Biden mask on Instagram MORE (D-Texas) came close to defeating Sen. Ted CruzRafael (Ted) Edward CruzCruz urges Supreme Court to take up Pennsylvania election challenge OVERNIGHT ENERGY: Trump administration proceeds with rollback of bird protections despite objections | Trump banking proposal on fossil fuels sparks backlash from libertarians | EU 2019 greenhouse gas emissions down 24 percent Trump's NATO ambassador pledges 'seamless' transition to Biden administration MORE (R) in 2018.

“At the Texas Democratic Party, we know that to win we must build a state party infrastructure larger than anyone has ever seen,” Texas Democratic Party deputy executive Cliff Walker said in a statement.

“Change is coming to Texas — a new wave of activists and progressive candidates demand it. They’re fired up about affordable healthcare, ending gun violence, reversing climate change, and protecting our diverse communities,” he added. 

Part of the plan focuses on registering 2.6 million Texans the party said are likely to vote Democratic if registered.

The Democrats said that the voter rolls grew by 1.8 million voters between 2014 and 2018, and the majority of the new voters are women and people of color. 

At least 670,000 Texas voters in 2018 were registered for the first time since Trump took office. The new voters were mainly young Texans, 38 percent were under the age of 25 and 60 percent were under the age 35, according to Texas Democrats. 

Additionally, the party said voter turnout was 1.8 times higher in 2018 compared to 2014. 

The plan includes different pathways that Democrats believe they can follow to win elections, including increasing turnout in communities of color and Democratic base counties, as well as registering Texans in suburban areas and engaging rural voters. 

“Each of these paths represents an approximation and we know that turnout in a presidential year will look different than a midterm. Nonetheless, each strategy represents a solid path to flipping Texas statewide,” the party said in the plan. 

In addition to registering millions of voters, Democrats plan to place 1,000 field organizers across the state and train volunteers with new, digital programs. 

The party is also focusing on down-ballot races, and said it's committed to recruiting and supporting more than 1,500 Democrats in races at all levels. 

Texas GOP Chairman James Dickey told The Hill the Republicans have been implementing their own plan “to keep Texas red” for months.

Dickey said in a statement the Republicans have deployed a “skilled field team” throughout the state and have invested in voter registration, mobilization and turnout.

“We will continue fighting hard to ensure Texans turn out to vote for the values that have made our state such an incredible place to live,” Dickey said. “Through their plan, the Texas Democrats made it extremely clear that their goal is to turn Texas into a copy of California - from which so many voters have fled because of its liberal mismanagement and high taxes. Texans don’t want those failed policies here.”

--This report was updated at 2:22 p.m.