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Redistricting Moneyball – train’s leaving!

October 27th, 2020, 9:35pm by Sam Wang


One week to Election Day. Time’s running out in various ways. For example, if you haven’t mailed your ballot yet, plan to either drop off your ballot or vote on Election Day. You can do it!

It’s also time to give one last push to state legislative races. Our Redistricting Moneyball analysis has identified key districts in states where bipartisan redistricting can be attained by voting. In addition to the original six states, we have found a seventh one, Nebraska. We have found that in Ohio, two state Supreme Court races may play a key role in resolving redistricting disputes there.

All of this is described in the blurb for the ActBlue for Democrats, where we are focusing on Texas, North Carolina, Ohio, and Nebraska. That one’s getting close to its total target. For Republicans, the Winred describes Minnesota and Connecticut.

Tags: 2020 Election · Moneyball · Redistricting

One Comment so far ↓

  • John Morales

    Having lived in Central Texas for almost 20 years in a region that is known for incredibly poor turn-out overall and an almost total absence of Democratic voters participating in local elections, I never put much stock in claims that Texas was on the verge of turning blue, because they were always based on assumptions about the growth of groups that barely participated in the election process vs a vs White Republicans.

    My area was a classic example, despite having one of the highest percentages of potential Black voters and Hispanic voters we’ve sent some extreme right-wing representatives to state government and have re-elected a do nothing, almost invisible representative to DC who sees his role as a reliable vote for the GOP. The state house district I’m in is listed as one the districts with the highest potential according to your website for being flipped with the fewest amounts of votes.

    This is nothing new, but it never came to pass, because the Democratic party never invested in mobilizing these non-participating voters. Instead it put its hope in winning back the majority of the regular Texas voters who always pick the winners in Texas elections the majority of which were once Democrats.

    The state party refused to recognize that when the majority of them switched parties when Bush’s was governor, they joined the party that actually reflected their core beliefs, and they were never going to switch back.

    Finally, however, things look like there is going to be a reset of sorts in Texas for 2 reasons.

    The state party’s old timers who dreamed of winning back all those Republicans who switched parties decades ago have mostly retired and had their roles filled by younger, more energetic party members who had a different dream. The the path to victory they see results from mobilizing the Black and Hispanic voters the state Democratic party had largely ignored in order to maintain its appeal to those once Democrats whose party switch turned this into a deep red state.

    In 2020 we are finally saw the party do what it had to do, go out and register those ignored voters and give up the dream of winning all those former Democrats who now run the state as far right Republicans.

    All this year I’ve seen massive efforts to get them energized. Everyone says it’s due to Trump, but I think just as important is the fact that new leaders in the state party accepted the future of the Democratic party in Texas was as a majority-minority party with White Democrats still playing leading roles but no longer expected to win the day, because in terms of numbers they fall far short of what is needed to win state and local elections on their own vs a vs. the overwhelmingly White Republican party in Texas.

    And considering the amount of attack ads and mailings I’ve received and seen against KiKi Williams the Republicans are extremely worried. They are spending a fortune. In the past all they had to do was says she was a “liberal” and the election was over.

    The one negative that might cost Democrats is they seem to be running generic campaigns based on a party template. With such a large percentage of high-income, educated Black voters with military backgrounds like Kiki’s in this area, I’d think they’d run a far more image-based campaign in order to get them to the polls. They (along with Hispanics) are the ones who simply do not vote in this area. instead they’ve opted for the generic campaign in which she supports the same agenda all the Democratic candidates who are running sign on to without mentioning any of the specific issues that might inspire non-voting members of the two groups to go out and vote for her.

    That choice is the last legacy of the old state party establishment who prioritized winning back White voters who turned Republican in the 80’s and 90’s and feared showing any active interest in any other groups.

    Old habits die hard even in politics, and if Kiki loses I think it will be due to running a generic campaign as opposed to one where she clearly identified with the groups who normally don’t vote. The White voters who are voting Democrat are not going anywhere. They don’t fear the minority voters joining them.

    If the Democrats fall short this time around, maybe they’ll finally realize worrying about winning back the old Democrats turned Republicans is a waste of time. They are gone and should not factor in how the party plans for the future.

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