DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) – With six weeks until Election Day, and four weeks until early voting begins, Democrat Beto O’Rourke’s campaign for U.S. Senate released what it calls the largest Get Out The Vote Campaign in state history.
The plan, released on its website, comes as the race against the Republican incumbent, Senator Ted Cruz, remains close.
It rejects what some analysts consider the conventional wisdom of focusing on swing voters.
Instead, the plan says most people aren’t debating which party to vote for, but whether they should even vote.
Miguel Solis, a Dallas ISD Trustee and O’Rourke campaign supporter, says they’re targeting those who haven’t voted in awhile and new voters.
“Ultimately, his key to victory is making sure that the millions of Texans now that are going to vote for him and support him know how to support him and how and when to vote for him,” said Solis.
He says their plan consists of reaching people through more text messages, phone calls, and door-knocking than ever before. “The plan is to make sure that 5.5 million people are contacted at least one time and hopefully more than that by inspiring Texans to make sure they sign up to be a volunteer, to create pop-up offices and then ensuring we get those voters out to the polls.”
The campaign plans to open “pop-up” offices, which are temporary, that will be run by volunteers who are trained on how to get people to vote.
After the first debate between O’Rourke and Cruz, SMU Political Science Professor Matthew Wilson said the Democrat is courting liberals in the base rather than independents and moderate, suburban Republicans.
“In mentioning issues like white privilege, like police shootings of African-Americans, those are concerns that are calculated to fire-up turnout among key Democratic base voters and base constituencies. They’re not necessarily issues that are calculated to play to moderate suburban voters that he’ll need to attract,” said Wilson.
In its plan, the O’Rourke campaign says it’s not writing anyone off.
President Donald Trump will be traveling to Texas in October to hold a rally for Sen. Cruz.
Cruz has repeatedly urged his supporters not to be complacent.
Missy Shorey, Chair of the Dallas County GOP, was unfazed by O’Rourke’s Get Out The Vote plan. “This is an intimidation tactic. Oh, we’ve got a plan. Who doesn’t have a plan?”
She says they’ve had a plan in place for months to reach potential new voters and their core supporters who will be key to Senator Ted Cruz and the other Republican candidates. “If our base gets complacent, think they have this in the bag, then we have a loss on our hands. That is absolutely accurate. And that’s why we take the left very seriously and we respect their enthusiasm. At the same time though, we then convert that to action.”
Cruz and O’Rourke are set to hold their second debate this Sunday evening at the University of Houston.