This is totally and utterly inexcusable:
Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Tex.) and Rep. Will Hurd (R-Tex.) were not on the ballot Tuesday, but they felt like winners. In an upset that rattled Texas Democrats, Republicans won a state senate seat that had voted reliably Democratic since the 19th century. In the final ballot test ahead of the midterm elections, there was no “blue wave” in sight — in other words, the outcome that Cruz and Hurd are hoping for in November.
After a short campaign, Republican businessman Pete Flores defeated former Democratic congressman Pete Gallego in Texas’s 19th state senate district, which stretches from San Antonio to Big Bend National Park. Flores won by nearly 6 points — a major reversal of fortune for Democrats, who had regularly carried the district, who beat Flores soundly here in 2016, and who won 59 percent of the vote in a July jungle primary.
…Flores’s victory will pay years of dividends for Texas Republicans, who will hold a supermajority of state senate seats — one they are unlikely to lose in November.
And why did this happen? A brutal Democratic primary contributed, plus Greg Abbott scheduling an unusual mid-September election, plus $300,000 of Republican money, plus a failure of Democrats to unify after the primary. But this jumped out at me:
“One side worked to increase its turnout, and the other side didn’t,” said Democratic strategist Colin Strother, who worked for San Antonio legislator Roland Gutierrez, the Democratic runner-up in the primary. “I was telling everyone who would listen that we were in trouble here.”
All of that combined with a lackluster Democratic turnout operation. [My emphasis] While Democrats are blaming Abbott, Gallego’s campaign did little to turn out votes.
Julián Castro, the former San Antonio mayor who’s well known in the region, got no requests to help Gallego — not until early voting had already begun, last weekend, when the campaign asked him to record a robo-call. Republican volunteers and staffers, meanwhile, knocked on 30,000 doors. To Republicans’ great surprise, Gallego didn’t even bother running TV ads, leaving the airwaves to Flores — even though the Democrat had more than $100,000 left to spend when balloting came Tuesday.
“That is something I will never understand,” Mackowiak said
Do you see? Do you see why I’ve been harping and pleading and urging and cajoling everyone about this stuff since February? We lost a WINNABLE race. We lost a state senate district we’ve had for a century. We lost because there WAS NO GET OUT THE VOTE OPERATION!!
We have a whole slew of close races this year. Our victory is NOT guaranteed. We will all have to work our hearts out. THERE IS NO CHOICE.
GET OUT THE VOTE. GET OUT THE VOTE. GET OUT THE DAMNED VOTE!!
This is a Creative Commons article. The original version of this article appeared here.