AUSTIN, Texas - The Texas Democratic Party hosted their annual fundraising dinner Saturday night.
The evening focused on the party’s mission to brand Texas as a battleground state. The party is also calling to flip the historically red state.
Democratic National Committee chair Tom Perez says the party plans to target more traditional Republicans who may feel disenfranchised in the Trump era.
“We have a lot of party of Lincoln Republicans who are voting Democrat because the party of Lincoln is dead,” he said.
Perez says Democrats are also working to mobilize minority voters. According to an analysis of the census by the Texas Tribune, the state gained nine Hispanic residents for every new white resident in 2018.
“We have so many emerging communities, African American, Latino, API communities -- that, where we have many eligible voters, we gotta get ‘em out in some cases. We gotta register ‘em, that’s a formula for success.” Perez said.
Travis County Republican Party communications director Andy Hogue admits President Trump may have pushed some voters away, but he believes he’s also brought a lot in.
“As a matter of fact, Trump has brought out quite a core of voters that hadn’t been activated before," Hogue said. "He brought in a whole new coalition, so I think there’s a lot of voters that didn’t turn out for Romney or didn’t turn out for John McCain.”
Ever heard the phrase “don’t California my Texas”? Well turns out, that may actually be happening. Texas Democratic Party chair Gilberto Hinojosa says the party is heavily relying on transplants.
“From California, from the east coast, a lot of our 2018 victories were transplant Democrats that came into Texas, that we were able to register to vote,” he said.
Hinojosa believes the transplants will play a key role in the suburbs. All that said, Hogue says he’s still not worried about Democrats flipping the state.
"Well, they’ve been trying for 20 years to no avail,” he said.