On Tuesday, in a sign that House Democrats are serious about going on offense in the 2020 cycle, the DCCC announced the opening of a new headquarters in Austin, Texas. This new office will be led by two native Texans who will lead a team that’s focused on expanding our Democratic Majority in the region. Texas is the home of six GOP-held seats, the most of any state in the country, on the DCCC’s offensive battlefield.
Following the announcement, the DCCC released a polling memo with recent data from three of these targeted districts – TX-10, TX-21 and TX-24. Despite President Trump winning all three of these districts in 2016, the President’s approval rating is underwater in all three – a harbinger of how the President will be a drag on House Republicans in Texas and across the country.
“Make no mistake about it, Democrats are going on offense in 2020 and there’s no place where we have more opportunities than Texas. The DCCC is making this early aggressive move because we know that the best defense is a strong offense and we are committed to fortifying and expanding our new Democratic Majority,” said DCCC Communications Director Jared Smith.
Here’s what they’re saying:
Texas Tribune | Abby Livingston
National Democrats are ratcheting up their Texas offensive yet again ahead of 2020.
The chairwoman of U.S. House Democratic campaign arm announced Tuesday morning that her committee will open a new satellite office in Austin. The move replicates the committee’s 2018 California playbook, when the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee had a substantive, on-the-ground presence in the Golden State and flipped seven U.S. House seats there.
The DCCC previously announced a national offensive effort for the 2020 elections that would install staffers in the Dallas, Houston, Austin and San Antonio suburbs. Monday’s announcement takes that initiative a step further, opening a central office in Austin with eight staffers, including Texas Democratic operatives Roger Garza and Michael Beckendorf.
This is an aggressive move. Even as Bustos and others in Washington crow about the Texas offensive, the DCCC is also tasked with defending more than 40 vulnerable incumbents, including two Texas freshmen — Allred and Fletcher. Republicans are recruiting opponents for both districts. Last week, veteran Wesley Hunt announced a challenge to Fletcher for her west Houston district.
Dallas News | Tom Benning
The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee on Tuesday announced it will open a satellite office in the Texas capital, providing a centralized perch from which to challenge Republican lawmakers in the six districts the group has identified as pickup opportunities.
In the House fight, the DCCC has circled Republicans who last year won their races by five points or less: Reps. Kenny Marchant of Coppell, John Carter of Round Rock, Will Hurd of San Antonio, Michael McCaul of Austin, Pete Olson of Sugar Land and Chip Roy of Austin.
“Texas is crucial to maintaining and expanding our House majority,” said Rep. Marc Veasey, D-Fort Worth. “Texans turned out in record numbers in 2018 for more jobs, better education and expanded access to health care, and I look forward to continuing that momentum in 2020.”
San Antonio Current | Sanford Nowlin
National Democrats are clearly taking the 2018 midterms as a sign that Texas is becoming a purple state.
The chairwoman of U.S. House Democratic campaign arm this week announced that the committee will open an Austin satellite office. The move seems to follow a strategy the national party used in California in 2018, where it took seven seats from Republicans during the midterms.
Democrats won two House seats in the state that election cycle, hurling out longtime Republican incumbents in the Houston and Dallas suburbs. Also feeding the Democrats’ fire, most likely, was Beto O’Rourke’s closer-than-expected race against Republican Sen. Ted Cruz.
McClatchy | Andrea Drusch
As President Donald Trump heads to Texas on Wednesday, his approval rating is underwater in a trio of GOP-held congressional districts both parties will be fighting over in 2020, according to new Democratic polling shared with the Star-Telegram.
Surveys the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee recently conducted found that 41 percent of voters approved of Trump’s job performance in Texas’ 24th congressional district, where Rep. Kenny Marchant serves, while 44 percent disapproved.
After flipping two seats in Texas in 2018, Democrats are plotting a much bigger investment to go after six more in 2020. But the targets are much tougher this time around, running through much more conservative territory.
National Journal | Kyle Trygstad
If Democrats can replicate last cycle’s success in California in the second-largest state, after 2020 the party will likely boast a Texas-sized House majority.
While the party has plenty of defense to play in districts President Trump carried in 2016, the array of opportunities in the Lone Star State and the DCCC’s investment there indicate Texas is the cornerstone of its potential to expand.
Politico | Zach Montellaro
BATTLEGROUND TEXAS — Look no further than Texas for the next frontier of the House battleground map. The DCCC announced Tuesday it would open a headquarters in Austin to focus on six battleground seats it hopes to flip, with the effort led by Southern Regional Political Director Michael Beckendorf and state senior adviser Roger Garza.
Washington Examiner | Caitlin Yilek
The campaign arm of House Democrats will open a new satellite office in Austin, putting more focus on flipping Texas seats in their favor in 2020.
The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee made a similar play in California in the 2018 midterm elections and won seven seats held by Republicans.
It’s all part of an effort Democrats contend can result in turning the Republican state into a competitive battleground. Democrats won two House seats in Texas in the 2018 elections, defeating a pair of longtime Republican incumbents in the Dallas and Houston suburbs.
The Hill | Zack Budryk
The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC) will open an office in Texas to protect two House seats gained in the 2018 midterms and target six seats where Republicans narrowly won, according to DCCC Chairwoman Rep. Cheri Bustos (D-Ill.).
The office will focus on safeguarding Democratic Reps. Colin Allred and Lizzie Pannill Fletcher, while targeting Republican incumbents Reps. John Carter, Will Hurd, Kenny Marchant, Michael McCaul, Pete Olson and Chip Roy, all of whom had a margin of victory under 5 percentage points in 2018, according to the Texas Tribune.