Aug 19, 2022 - News

National progressive political organization targets Texas Latinos

Illustration of a pattern of “I voted” stickers in Spanish and English.
Illustration: Shoshana Gordon/Axios

Determined to mobilize Latinos, a national progressive political organization is entering the Texas fray.

Driving the news: Organizers at Mijente tell Axios they plan to spend as much as $1.2 million in Texas in the coming months as part of their "Fuera Abbott" campaign.

  • The money will chiefly pay for door-knocking and fieldwork in South Texas aiming to oust the governor.

Why it matters: The Texas governor's race, pitting two master fundraisers in incumbent Greg Abbott and Democrat Beto O'Rourke, is shaping up as the most expensive in the nation — and the mobilization of voters in traditionally low-turnout areas of the state could tip the race.

The intrigue: Ads from the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee meant to target likely Latino voters have been criticized as condescending and out of touch.

  • Meanwhile, Republicans have made a formidable bid to woo voters — and Abbott has vowed he will win at least half of Texas' Hispanic vote.
  • In June, Republicans flipped a South Texas U.S. House seat.

What they're saying: "We want to push back against the recruitment of Latinos by the right wing," Mijente political director Tania Unzueta tells Axios.

  • Unzueta points to the organization's activity in Georgia ahead of the 2021 runoff elections, in which Mijente sent more than 376,000 texts to voters as part of its "Georgia con Ganas" campaign.

Context: For years, Democrats have tried, with limited success, to drive to the polls South Texas voters they deem sympathetic to their message.

  • "There's been a lack of consistent investment in Texas," Unzueta says. "We hope that now changes as people are paying more attention. The thing we keep hearing is that no one knocks on doors now — except Republicans."
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