In yet another ominous sign for his reelection campaign’s chances in the Lone Star state, Donald Trump and company woke up to more unwelcome news this morning: A new Democratic super PAC is looking to give former Vice President Joe Biden a boost in the general election.
The new PAC, fittingly called Blue Texas PAC, was co-founded by a slew of talented Texas and national operatives and activists that includes Kim Taylor, Jason Stanford, Sonia Van Meter and former Dallas Cowboy and social justice advocate Michael Bennett, and plans to focus its efforts on paid media.
That assistance could ultimately end up helping Biden make up the difference in Texas, where 5 of the last 6 polls show Biden leading Trump, with virtually every other poll showing a toss-up race. NBC News moved Texas into their toss-up category this week, further cementing the state’s 38 electoral votes as the crown jewel up for grabs this November.
“Poll after poll shows Joe Biden neck and neck with Donald Trump in Texas; if we all join together to fight, we will win Texas in 2020,” said co-founder of Blue Texas Kim Taylor in a statement to Signal. “Blue Texas is proud to be a part of that; every dime we raise will go back into persuading and motivating Texans to turn our state blue. We encourage people to get involved and donate at Blutexaspac.com”
While the Biden campaign announced their first slate of staff hires this week featuring diverse and experienced operatives from across the state, it remains to be seen how much the campaign will invest in the nearly two dozen media markets within Texas. The campaign has already launched a series of ad buys, some in conjunction with the DNC, but the buys are still in the low six figures, far away from the levels it will take to flip the state.
For Democrats, the prospect of having a super PAC that can invest heavily in targeted advertising campaigns across the state is a tantalizing prospect. Republicans in the state have long leveraged an extensive network of political action committees and dark money nonprofits to keep themselves in power, and there are currently more than half a dozen organizations running television ads in Texas to benefit Trump. Evening the playing field will not only give Democrats a counter-punch on the air across the state, but it will also create competition to buy the finite amount of advertising time available, making Texas an even more expensive state for Trump to hold onto.
Blue Texas PAC and the Democrats aren’t without their own allies on the air. The Lincoln Project, founded by disaffected Republicans committed to making Trump a one-term President, has also already launched a television spot in the state, and the potential for a one-two punch between Blue Texas and the Lincoln Project is intriguing.
As the Lincoln Project continues to produce the type of bare-knuckle ads that crawl under Trump’s skin and set social media ablaze, it allows Blue Texas, as well the Biden campaign and other Democratic organizations, to keep their messaging overwhelmingly positive and focus their resources on driving up Democratic turnout. The Lincoln Project can continue flogging Trump at will, providing voters on the fence with enough information and context to keep Trump’s approval ratings frozen.
These are tactics we’ve seen across the country in battleground states and races, and in 2020 the show is coming to Texas. With the races for President, US Senate and control of the state house tightening every day, there has never been a better time for the cavalry to arrive.
Joe brings over a decade of experience as a political operative and creative strategist to Texas Signal, where he serves as our Senior Advisor and does everything from writing a regular column, Musings, to mentoring our staff and freelancers. Joe was campaign manager for Lina Hidalgo's historic 2018 victory for Harris County Judge and is a passionate sneakerhead.