Democrats are once again sounding the alarm that Texas could finally turn blue – this time in 2020.
There's no argument Texas Democrats staked a claim in the 2018 midterms. But Travis County GOP Chair Matt Mackowiak thinks turning the state blue is still a long shot.
“The 2020 election is not going to be about Texas. It's going to be about Michigan, Wisconsin and Pennsylvania, just like it was in 2016,” he says. “Texas is far too expensive for Democrats to make a real run at it unless Beto O'Rourke were to be the nominee, but the odds of that are pretty low.”
Texas Democrats scored big in 2018 by flipping the suburbs, specifically white suburban women.
“I don't believe white women in the suburbs want to move toward socialism, big government and massive tax increases,” says Mackowiak. “But if it's someone like Joe Biden who is more mainstream, I think that could become a problem potentially for Republicans in the suburbs.”
With the economy humming along, Mackowiak believes Republicans need to refocus their efforts on the issue of health care.
“Health care is the reason you saw the movement you saw in 2018,” he says. “I think Republicans will have to neutralize the argument they want to get rid of pre-existing conditions. I don't believe it's accurate, but it's an argument that Democrats made very effectively.”
Without O'Rourke or Julian Castro on the presidential ballot, Mackowiak says it will be tough to motivate Democrats statewide.