Battleground Texas and Republicans Spar Over Voter Outreach

Note: This story originally appeared on The Quorum Report. Join us there daily for coverage of Texas politics and government. 


Battleground Texas Executive Director Jenn Brown speaks in Houston

The head of Battleground Texas and the chairman of the Republican Party of Texas each had harsh words for the other about their respective voter outreach efforts on Monday.

There has, of course, been a lot of chatter about how much difference it will make in the governor’s race between Democratic Sen. Wendy Davis and Republican AG Greg Abbott to have Battleground here working to create Democratic political infrastructure, which has been on par with water and transportation infrastructure in Afghanistan. For now, they seem to be making some inroads.

In an email to supporters, Battleground’s executive director Jenn Brown said the RPT had promised to knock on 60,000 doors in March, but ended up doing 10,000 instead. “They fell 50,000 doors short,” Brown said. “While enthusiasm is waning for Republicans, it’s never been higher for us. That same week, we set a goal of 100,000 phone calls for Wendy — and made 145,287.”

Brown said “the GOP is no longer the only game in Texas. We’re proving every day that our grassroots volunteers are a force to be reckoned with.” Battleground volunteers set out with the goal of knocking on 48,000 doors this past weekend and ended up with a total of over 55,000, Brown said.

The head of the majority party dismissed Brown’s claim out of hand.

“If they think they knocked on 50,000 doors, God bless em,” RPT Chairman Steve Munisteri said. “I don’t believe it,” he said, adding that he had heard reports out of Fort Worth that Battleground block walkers were complaining that they had inadequate lists of voters. “They were knocking on quite a few Abbott doors,” he told Quorum Report.


Republican Party Chairman Steve Munisteri speaks at his party’s convention, the largest state GOP convention in the United States

When asked about the RPT missing its goal of 60,000 doors in March, he said the 10,000 number the party publicized was the result of a single day’s block walking and they’ve done more since then. He also noted the low turnout on the Democratic side in the March 4 primary. Democrats have said that low number was simply a result of there being no seriously contested races on their side of the ledger. The results of the primary mean that Republicans start out with a base of 1.3 million and Democrats have a base of 435,000, Munisteri said.

Pointing to the Real Clear Politics average of polls done on the Texas governor’s race, which shows Davis about 12 points behind Abbott, Munisteri said the more doors Battleground knocks on, the better. “We’ve been very amused by their press releases,” he said. “By clear objective data, there has not been anything that they have done that has changed the basic equation which is that Wendy Davis is substantially behind Greg Abbott,” he said.

In response to Munisteri’s comments, Sen. Davis’ communications director Zac Petkanas tweeted “That’s the attitude we’re counting on.”

 Copyright April 14, 2014, Harvey Kronberg,, All rights are reserved

Tags: , ,

Comments are closed.