It is well known that a Democrat hasn't won a statewide general election in Texas since 1994, dating back to the days of Governor Ann Richards and U.S. Senator Lloyd Bentsen. After this thirty year drought, can Democrats finally break through in 2024? Absolutely. Still, in our view, Republicans have been successful in branding all Democrats as left-wing, progressive radicals who are out of touch with mainstream America. To regain voter support, we believe the Texas Democratic Party, our local Parties, and our Democratic candidates must adopt mainstream positions on the issues that are important to most Texas voters. To rebuild our Democratic brand, Democratic primary voters must start nominating more moderate (centralist) candidates who can appeal to both rural and urban voters. In short, our candidates should support legal (not illegal) immigration, border security, law enforcement, the military, low property taxes, civil liberties, investments in our infrastructure, better healthcare, and improvements to our educational system (while respecting parental input). Our candidates must support a person's right to own a handgun, shotgun, and hunting rifle, but should advocate for restrictions on military-style weapons (e.g., AK-47, AR-15). Our candidates should be pro-choice, in accordance with the guidance provided under Roe v. Wade. They should support renewable energy AND responsible oil and gas drilling (yes, we can both). Our candidates must also publicly reject the radical positions advocated by some members in the progressive wing of our Party (Critical Race Theory, "defund the police", transgenders in women's sports, socialism, open borders, etc.). In summary, if we want to rebuild our brand and win elections, our Democratic candidates must be tailored to the views of mainstream Texas voters. If our Democratic candidates can dominate the urban areas, win in the suburbs, and at least be competitive in the rural areas, we CAN win statewide elections. Can this strategy work? Well, it already has. Take a look at the Democratic candidates who have won statewide races in other purple and red states (e.g. West Virginia, Kansas, Arizona, Georgia, Ohio, Montana). The thing those elected Democratic officials all have in common is that their positions on the issues are a good fit for their electorate. Moderate, mainstream Democratic candidates have clearly demonstrated they can defeat right-wing, MAGA Republicans.
While it is important that Democrats avoid extremist candidates, it is also important that we avoid nominating self-serving candidates with a history of corruption, scandals, erratic behavior, or other negative attributes which could drag down the entire Democratic ticket in a general election. If Republicans continue to nominate extreme right-wing, egomaniac, nut-job, corrupt candidates and Democrats nominate moderate, mainstream, selfless leaders, we will eventually turn Texas Blue.
In the upcoming Harris County Democratic primary, we urge all our readers to help rebuild the Democratic Party brand by supporting our more moderate, mainstream candidates. To view our 2024 Democratic primary candidate endorsements, please click on the link below:
FOR MORE POSTS, please routinely check HarrisCountyDemocrats.com.