This is just wonderful to read. You really need to read the Texas Tribune article. You almost get the sense it was written in the fetal position.
Allow me to be direct.
After every campaign cycle, the media makes heroes of individuals who did things in campaigns. Campaigns are most often won on fundamentals, but we live in a day and age of the Cult of Personality. Witness Bloomberg fawning over Vincent Harris as a GOP Svengali for turning on websites. In a few years, there’ll be some other GOP tech genius who gets swooned over for defying stereotypes. Witness the Obama campaign team hailed as heroes. Witness the hagiographic attention to Jeremy Bird, who was brought into Texas to be Battleground Texas’s senior advisor.
Campaigns are won on fundamentals that tie messaging to turnout metrics. Technology can be deployed to make it more precise, micro-targeting can be deployed to find new voters, etc., etc., etc.
After the Obama campaign of 2012, Democrats thought there was some magic they could employ through guys like Jeremy Bird. They could take the “Colorado Model” and transpose it into any state to shift it red. The could build up institutions to advance “narratives”, change “optics”, and register new voters.
And it all came crashing down in Texas.
Why? Well, for starters, Texas is Texas. People there revere that state as a whole other country. That used to be their tourism slogan. So bring down a bunch of liberal yankees who hate the ROTC, traditional values, the Alamo, and Texas itself and you’re setting the stage for disaster.
Add to it a candidate who made the left drool because she believes in slicing and dicing children until the moment they come out of the birth canal and you’re just asking for trouble.
Battleground Texas had a bad night because it thought it could transport Obama magic to a state that rejected Obama and do so with paid staff and volunteers who hate Texas and its values that are widely embraced by new immigrants and natives regardless of party. They dazzled with flashy data sites, web, and liberal media outlets excited by their presence. But they are left today with nothing to show for it but a hangover and a few awesome explosions of anger on twitter.
Battleground Texas claims they are not going away. Thank goodness. They should stick around and serve as a money sink for guys like Tom Steyer lest that money go to other states.
Campaigns are not won on flash or pink running shoes. They are won on fundamentals. Battleground Texas completely failed the fundamentals, their crippling made worse by a terrible gubernatorial candidate.
Jim Hogan, the Democratic nominee for agriculture commissioner, came into the race as a complete unknown. He didn’t spend a moment or a dollar campaigning. He received no direct support from Battleground. Yet he earned almost 37 percent of the vote in his race.
Even with all her help, Davis ended the night with 39 percent of the vote.