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Texas Democrats lost the turnout battle due to not canvassing, post-election report says

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While this was speculated at the time, the report makes a concrete case for it.



A new post-election report found that not canvassing in person because of pandemic restrictions was "really devastating," the state Democratic Party chair said.


"Our inability to campaign was really devastating for us, especially with our main base. Our main base is Latino voters, and they do not take well to mail and texting contact," Texas Democratic Party Chair Gilberto Hinojosa said.


The report, released Monday, found that even though Democrats turned out at higher rates than expected, so did Republican voters, who outperformed the higher Democratic turnout.


The party struggled to reach voters "for whom we did not have phone numbers, who are disproportionately young [and] rural," as well as people of color.




The report did not find a Latino shift to Republicans and Trump; about two-thirds of the state's Hispanics continue to support Democrats.


"Many have interpreted this as 'Latinos voted for Trump,' but it's more accurate to say, 'Latinos who were already Republicans turned out more than Latino Democrats,'" said the report, assembled by Hudson Cavanaugh, the state party's director of data science.


Support for Trump increased significantly in mostly rural, majority Latino counties, accounting for an estimated 17,000 net votes, according to the report.



The Biden campaign was criticized for taking too long to ramp up its outreach to Latinos and for not making large investments in Texas, which hasn't backed a Democratic presidential candidate since 1976.


Democrats concluded that the party needs to develop better outreach and relationships in those rural counties.


The Democratic Party exceeded its statewide registration goal, turning out 13 million votes; it also increased its vote total by 1.2 million — the highest growth in Democratic vote share since 2012. It came within about 23,000 votes of flipping the state House.


But Democrats "did not anticipate this surge of Trump voters that we had not seen before," Hinojosa said.


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Southern Texas has a higher percentage of Hispanics in the counties, but due to the worse outreach, it shifted hugely toward Republicans despite impressive gains elsewhere.


Beto has argued that while being safe during COVID is important, there are ways to safely canvass in the state.



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