Democratic National Convention Chairman Tim Kaine sent an e-mail last night to DNC supporters announcing that their Fall Meeting would take place in Austin, Texas this year. In the e-mail, Kaine declares optimism in turning Texas blue by focusing efforts on swinging the traditionally conservative state toward the Democratic column.
"Of course, as you know, not only is Texas a great, beautiful and diverse state, it represents a tremendous growth opportunity for the Democratic Party," writes Kaine. "Now, some might find that notion odd given Texas's traditionally conservative bent and its recent history of supporting Republican candidates for elective office. But I don't find it odd at all --and in fact, I am more convinced than ever that Texas is trending our way and will continue to do so."
Kaine went on to mention that Virginia went from having a strong Republican majority to favoring President Obama last year – the first Democratic nominee to win Virginia since 1964, as well as electing Democratic senators in Congress. Kaine himself is the second-consecutive Democratic governor of Virginia and seems confident that Texas will soon follow in Virginia's shoes.
"Texas is an increasingly diverse state with a burgeoning and politically active Hispanic population that went strongly for Barack Obama in 2008. And, as a result of investments made by my predecessor, the commitments we've made, and the hard work of the Texas Democratic Party -- which has done an outstanding job rebuilding the party, attracting good candidates, and expanding our reach -- we have a strong and growing Democratic Party infrastructure," Kaine explains.
Although the Democratic Party may have established a base in Texas, currently, the governor, both senators and the majority of the House representatives from Texas are Republican.
The last time Texas had favored a Democratic presidential nominee was in 1976 by electing Jimmy Carter over Gerald Ford. But since the 1980s, Texas has supported Republican nominees by a wide margin, sometimes by as much as 20 percent. During last year's elections, Mr. Obama lost the state's vote by over 11 percentage points, which is about one million actual votes. Click here for 2008 election results in the state.
Regardless of such data, Kaine remains optimistic, writing that, "…we have every reason to feel bullish about our chances in Texas . Exciting things are possible because we believe every single state on the map is important."