Texas Democrats, encouraged by modest gains in 2018, are aiming for much bigger things in 2020. Namely, they hope to take control of the Texas House, which would grant them control over the next redistricting in 2021. "That redistricting is the most important prize in the next 20 months, except for the presidency of the United States," says James Dickey, chairman of the Republican Party of Texas.
While Dems are facing tough historical odds---the GOP has controlled the Texas House since 2002---the goal is at least in play in 2020. The GOP currently has an 83-67 margin in the state House, meaning Dems need to flip nine seats to gain the majority. Democrats picked up 12 seats in the Texas House in 2018, which means they have Republicans' attention. "The one good thing out of last November is that people are taking seriously the threat to the Texan way of life that has been so good and so prosperous, thanks to Republican leadership," says Dickey.
Texas Republicans have been accused of coasting in recent elections because of their long dominance in state politics, but Dickey assures KTRH that is not the case heading into next year. "We have set records in the Republican Party of Texas in fundraising this year, as people know that we have to prepare to make sure that we beat back the Democrats in 2020," he says. "We are unified on making sure that we get people turned out, that we get them the best data, the best systems, to make sure that we beat our common enemy---and that's those who would destroy what we have built here in Texas. We cannot allow that."