June 1st, 2009
07:18 PM ET
7 months ago

Kaine: Texas is the next Virginia

The DNC has its eyes on Texas .
The DNC has its eyes on Texas .

(CNN) - Democratic National Committee Chairman Tim Kaine appears to have his eyes set on Texas, announcing Monday the organization's fall meeting will be held in the Lone Star state.

"Not only is Texas a great, beautiful and diverse state, it represents a tremendous growth opportunity for the Democratic Party," Kaine wrote in an e-mail to DNC supporters.

Now, some might find that notion odd given Texas's traditionally conservative bent and its recent history of supporting Republican candidates for elective office," Kaine continued. "But I don't find it odd at all - and in fact, I am more convinced than ever that Texas is trending our way and will continue to do so."

Obama lost to Republican presidential candidate John McCain by 11 percentage points and close to 1 million votes. Still, that margin is less than more than half of what it was when the state's favored son George W. Bush was on the presidential ballot.

In his letter Monday, Kaine specifically cited Texas' large Hispanic organization and the grassroots infrastructure put in place by the Obama campaign in 2008 as reasons the traditionally-considered red state may turn blue.

"In so many ways, I believe Texas is poised to move towards our column, just as Virginia has," Kaine said.

Full letter after the jump:

Dear Friend:

It's time to announce the location of the DNC Fall Meeting, scheduled for September 10th – 12th, 2009. I'm excited to be the first to tell you that this year's meeting will be in Austin, Texas. In a phrase, we are Lone Star State bound!

Of course, as you know, not only is Texas a great, beautiful and diverse state, it represents a tremendous growth opportunity for the Democratic Party. Now, some might find that notion odd given Texas's traditionally conservative bent and its recent history of supporting Republican candidates for elective office. But I don't find it odd at all - and in fact, I am more convinced than ever that Texas is trending our way and will continue to do so.

It wasn't that long ago - less than 10 years, in fact - that Virginia was considered just as strong a lock for the Republicans as Texas has been. In Virginia, we had Republican Governors, Republican U.S. Senators and a strong Republican majority in our Congressional delegation and state legislature. And we didn't merit any attention from Presidential candidates during general elections because no Democratic candidate since Lyndon Johnson had won Virginia's electoral votes.

Today? I'm the second consecutive Democrat to serve as Governor of Virginia, we took back the State Senate and have reached near parity in the House of Delegates. Both of our U.S. Senators are Democrats, and Democrats are the majority of our U.S. House delegation. And of course, in November, Barack Obama became the first Democratic Presidential candidate since 1964 to carry the Old Dominion.

In so many ways, I believe Texas is poised to move towards our column, just as Virginia has. Texas is an increasingly diverse state with a burgeoning and politically active Hispanic population that went strongly for Barack Obama in 2008. And, as a result of investments made by my predecessor, the commitments we've made, and the hard work of the Texas Democratic Party - which has done an outstanding job rebuilding the party, attracting good candidates, and expanding our reach - we have a strong and growing Democratic Party infrastructure. Add to that the significant investments we plan to make in Texas through Organizing for America (OFA), and the work OFA will be doing in communities across the state in support of the President's important and popular agenda, and we have every reason to feel bullish about our chances in Texas. Exciting things are possible because we believe every single state on the map is important.

Of course, it's also a very exciting time for us to meet because of what Democrats have accomplished electorally in the past year and because of what the President - with our support - has accomplished during his first few, short months in office.

President Obama was elected on a mandate for change. Because of his victory last November and Democrats' relentless work to make the change he promised during the campaign a reality, women will finally receive equal pay for equal work, four million additional children have access to health care through the State Children's Health Insurance Program, and a historic economic recovery package is putting Americans back to work. And of course, by the time we meet the Senate should have confirmed the President's historic choice, Judge Sonia Sotomayor, for the Supreme Court.

I look forward to seeing you in Austin on September 10th at this historic time for our party and the DNC. Austin is a world-renowned destination - a truly wonderful city - and I know we'll all have a great time. Information about making a reservation can be found below, and if you have any questions whatsoever please don't hesitate to contact XXXXXX at XXXXX or XXXXX, or the Secretary's Office at XXXXX.

Hope to see you there,

Governor Tim Kaine
Chairman


Filed under: DNC
soundoff (73 Responses)
  1. Bill

    Not if we can help it, Mr. Kaine.

    June 1, 2009 07:28 pm at 7:28 pm |
  2. Matt Shine

    The GOP had better pray that they don't lose TX. Between Texas, New York and California, that's 120 electoral votes under the current system.

    June 1, 2009 07:28 pm at 7:28 pm |
  3. Scott

    "Less than more than half...?" Proof-read, CNN. :)

    June 1, 2009 07:29 pm at 7:29 pm |
  4. Scott

    As both a proud (transplanted) Texan and a Democrat, I could not be happier. Given the large number of Hispanics, this sounds like a grand opportunity! Come on down!

    June 1, 2009 07:29 pm at 7:29 pm |
  5. Josh

    "that margin is less than more than half of what it was"? I think that could have been expressed more clearly.

    If Democrats managed to move Texas into their column, it would be game over for Republicans. I think that Kaine is correct that Texas is diversifying politically, but it will probably be several more election cycles before Texas might actually go blue.

    June 1, 2009 07:30 pm at 7:30 pm |
  6. IS IT 2012 YET ??

    Today's Texas is principled and true to American values – and no place for Democrats.

    June 1, 2009 07:31 pm at 7:31 pm |
  7. history repeats

    please! texas would never vote democrat. that "state" is super backwards. for some reason they are so proud of absolutely nothing!

    June 1, 2009 07:31 pm at 7:31 pm |
  8. Mike TX

    I don't think so Timmy. There's too many sensible people here – people who understand the value of hard work and self-reliance – to change to the party of the lazy.

    June 1, 2009 07:31 pm at 7:31 pm |
  9. Jean

    Get real Kaine.

    June 1, 2009 07:32 pm at 7:32 pm |
  10. The Marginalizer

    Texas may have had a conservative bent in recent history but this is also the state that gove us LBJ, Mission Control and a lot of other science and leadership that was anything but conservative. Texas had it's first female governor in 1927.

    Houston and Dallas are both very liberal and diverse cities. Houston is the nation's 4th largest city and the county in which it resides, Harris, is the nation's 3rd largest county. Harris County was named the most ethnically diverse county in the nation in the most recent census.

    Please do not let the Texas GOP and our backwards governor, Rick "Secession" Perry lead you to believe that all Texans are backwards, gun-toting, bible-thumping simpleton bigots. While we have more than our share of those, most of us are just hard working, middle-class Americans who are NOT racist, are NOT homophobic and are NOT Republican.

    June 1, 2009 07:33 pm at 7:33 pm |
  11. TCM

    Kaine, you moron,....Virginia was a fluke. The entire Obama campaign was littered with corruption and intimidation of voters...also, they filled young, ignorant voter's heads with false hope. That's all coming to light now, in a big way. Liberals think OBama's done alot in 100+ days, well, one thing's for sure, he's lost more support than any other president has in their first 4 months. Texans will never succumb to such idiotic tactics that the DNC try to employ. I got nauseated at the article about the two thug blacks in front of the Philly voting location trying to intimidate voters...come on down to Texas boys, try that crap down here....

    June 1, 2009 07:39 pm at 7:39 pm |
  12. Texas-ex democrat

    Texas is generally a fiscally conservative state. The present situation is so out of control from a spending(and soon to be taxing) viewpoint that I really don't see a Democratic takeover down here.

    June 1, 2009 07:40 pm at 7:40 pm |
  13. PaulMoATX

    We in Austin love President Obama!

    June 1, 2009 07:41 pm at 7:41 pm |
  14. No To Obama

    TAX CHEATING DEMOCRATES dont need to go to Texas, they might put the tax cheats in jail for once.

    June 1, 2009 07:49 pm at 7:49 pm |
  15. big papa

    Obama won Texas...

    ...and the treasonous confederate governor Rick Perry and his secessionist co-conspirators...

    ...stole the state for McCain...

    ...The GOP's time has come and gone...

    ...Let's take Texas, and extinct 'em...

    June 1, 2009 07:53 pm at 7:53 pm |
  16. Audrey in VA

    Get real! I'm from Virginia, and Kaine has devestated this state with his welfare spending. I think Texans have too much sense than to go blue!

    June 1, 2009 07:59 pm at 7:59 pm |
  17. jason, tx

    that would so rock.

    June 1, 2009 07:59 pm at 7:59 pm |
  18. Hernan Montoya

    Texas could be a battle ground state in 2012 election. Texas is the fastest growing state for hispanics and minorties. This could help the Democracts to put this state in to the obama colum.

    June 1, 2009 08:03 pm at 8:03 pm |
  19. sarah

    Austin TX is a Democrat city, even if it isn't in a Democrat state.

    I think the entire state is more Libertarian than anything else. Good luck with that.

    June 1, 2009 08:05 pm at 8:05 pm |
  20. No Incumbents 2010

    I'm from Texas and I have a question for Mr. Kaine: Are you high?

    June 1, 2009 08:06 pm at 8:06 pm |
  21. Champly

    Could someone point me to the story where Obama issues a stern letter of condemnation for the killing of a U.S. military man at a recruiting center ? Same for the DNC, I missed their statement. Where is the Democrat Party news release of condemnation for the killing ?

    June 1, 2009 08:07 pm at 8:07 pm |
  22. bryan from the bronx

    Oh god I can only hope Texas goes blue. Even Pat Buchanan thinks thats a possibility.

    June 1, 2009 08:15 pm at 8:15 pm |
  23. Tom

    I don't think he's far off..but I don't believe Texas will vote Democrat within this decade.

    June 1, 2009 08:23 pm at 8:23 pm |
  24. Jayden,FL

    I sure as heck hope so! And I know Florida will stay BLUE!

    June 1, 2009 08:29 pm at 8:29 pm |
  25. Willy Brown

    Kaine is a moron. We will be glad when he leaves his part time job in VA.

    June 1, 2009 08:32 pm at 8:32 pm |
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