Beto can beat Abbott and turn Texas blue.
Over the last week or two, several people have told me that they’ve heard from inside sources that Beto plans on running. About a week ago, I watched a local Democratic club host a zoom meeting with Beto, and he hinted that he would be run. Then, a few days ago, several news outlets broke the news on how Beto was planning on running.
The internet lit up. He still hasn’t officially announced, but Texas liberals rejoiced at the news.
On both sides of the aisle, some naysayers claimed Beto couldn’t beat Abbott. However, when looking at the data and what has to be done, I say he can.
Beto’s position on guns.
Coming from the right and the far-left, mostly, they do that because Beto said he would take away your AR-15s. He clarified that statement many times. Not handguns, not hunting rifles, but specific weapons made intentionally to murder as many human beings in the shortest amount of time. Nearly every mass shooting in America, including the Walmart shooting in Beto’s hometown in 2019 was committed with an AR15.
Many people talk about guns and gun ownership in Texas and like to infer that Texas is the most heavily armed state in America. However, that’s far from true. Texas isn’t even in the top 20. In fact, there are many states, including several blue states, that are more heavily armed than us.
There are an estimated 5 million people in America that own AR-15s. So, let’s say, based upon Texas having 11% of America’s population, that 11% of AR-15 owners live here. That’s 550,000.
There are 21 million eligible voters in Texas. So, we can outvote 550,000 people who might vote because they don’t want to lose their murder weapon.
Sure, there will be idiots that think Beto will come for all guns, but they’re the far-right and would never vote for a Democrat, regardless of who it is.
Independent voters will listen to what Beto says about guns.
Aside from that, most Texans oppose permitless carry and feel like Texas isn’t doing enough about gun violence.
Despite all of the carnival barkers and naysayers, most Texans agree with Beto’s position on guns. Those who don’t will always vote Republican; they are the far-right that Abbott and other state GOP leaders pander to.
But, Beto lost the last two elections…
In 2018, Beto built an army and traveled to every county in Texas exciting his base. He only lost to Cruz by 2.5% (215,000 votes).
But, here’s the thing. In 2018, there were 19.9 million eligible voters in Texas, but only 15.7 million registered voters and only 8.3 million people showed up to the polls. In 2018, only 42% of eligible voters voted. So, even though Beto built an army, the army he built wasn’t big enough. In 2022, it will be.
Then, there was the failed presidential run. Beto didn’t lose that race because he was unpopular or because people didn’t like him. He lost that race because most Democratic voters voted for who they thought had the best shot at beating Trump. That just happened to be Joe Biden. Many of us knew that Beto wouldn’t win the primary to become the contender against Trump. Some of us felt as if it was a mistake for him to run in that race.
Perhaps it was.
As human beings, we all learn from our mistakes, and between the 2018 and 2020 races, Beto has become battle-tested.
He’s grown a lot as a person and a political candidate.
Honestly, when people started chatting about Beto earlier this year, I had some reservations. However, during his June Tour for Democracy, I watched several of his speeches.
He’s not the same candidate he was in 2018 or 2020. He’s better than I remember; sharp, humble, passionate, and laser-focused on the issues.
Watching his speeches gave me hope and made me feel enthusiastic about the possibilities of a better, bluer Texas. I dropped all of my reservations at that point.
In 2018, a mid-term election, only 42% of eligible voters turned out. However, in the mid-term election before that, in 2014, only 24% of eligible voters showed up.
2018 was the first time over 30% of eligible voters in Texas ever voted in a mid-term election. So Beto did that. He drove the people to the polls on both sides of the aisle.
How Beto will win in 2022.
Texas’ blue army. Thousands of activists, volunteers, and campaign workers are fighting tooth and nail to turn Texas blue. Last I heard, Powered by People has 2,600 ambassadors, registering people to vote and getting the word out about voting in 2022.
We need an army to win. And we have it.
The Texas Democratic Party has vowed to register 2 million new voters by the 2022 election. In one of Beto’s live streams, he mentioned registering 3 million (although that’s probably too ambitious). Still, between the State Party and Beto’s group, there is little doubt that they will be able to bring 2 million new voters to the table.
Many of these new voters are younger and more politically engaged than their older counterparts. The youth vote is going to drive this election. Republicans have already lost the youth vote with authoritarianism and draconian laws.
All we have to do is get the 2 million new voters registered and make sure they show up to the polls.
What about the naysayers?
Republicans and out-of-staters. The only skin they have in the game is creating a narrative that will give them a leg up. Democrats from other states don’t understand Texas or Texas voters.
Beto and Democrats need to focus on Abbott’s failures. There are lots of them.
Abbott’s catastrophic Covid response, his failure to fix the grid, and the war on women are enough to drive every left-leaning voter to the polls to vote him out.
Beto has the best support and infrastructure of any Texas Democrat out there.
He can do it. We can do it. Texas is turning blue in 2022.
You can now read an ad-free version of Living Blue in Texas and help support our mission to turn Texas blue. Sign up now.
Sign up for our weekly blog roundup: