California is thought of as reliably Blue, the Left Coast of America. But it wasn’t always. The state gave the nation Richard Nixon and Ronald Reagan. The John Birch Society thrived in its sun, and some of the state’s most influential families bankrolled it. In the 1990s, voters passed a series of anti-immigrant, race-baiting ballot propositions amid language that mirrors that used by Donald Trump today.
It is said that California turned Blue because Californians turned brown and, certainly, rise of a new citizenry is part of the cause, but in larger part the story of California’s political shift is a “politics is hard” story, one of patient, and long lasting effort to build political power. …
The fruits of that effort were harvested in the 2018 midterm election where voters in what had been reliably Republican territory flipped seven U.S. House of Representative seats from Red to Blue. Consider Orange County, California, for a moment, the birthplace of modern Republicanism. After the 2018 midterm election, the OC is without a single GOP member of Congress.
The California experience raises the question of whether other states have traditionally conservative areas that are ready to turn. …
Texas hasn’t elected a Democrat to statewide office since 1994. That tradition may hold in 2020, but there are clear signs that it is eroding. The 2018 midterms brought Beto O’Rourke within 2.5 percentage points of incumbent Sen. Ted Cruz, saw Democrats win two U.S. House seats and 12 in the state house. Nate Cohn’s analysis in the New York Times, sees a possible flip not only because of Latinx voters but because white voters are changing their minds.
Demography is part of the Texas story, and younger white voters are much more likely to identify with Democrats than their elders.
There is no shortage of progressive grassroots organizations in Texas. The Industrial Areas Foundation has been at for decades, and Texas Tribunecounts more than 100 organizations in its grassroots directory. Efforts to handcuff conservative Christianity and the Republican party are being countered by organizations such as Faith in Texas, whose agenda includes voter engagement, ending unnecessary incarceration, and bringing working class communities into economic policy discussions.
Excerpted from Medium. Read the full article here.