GOP 'ground game' catches Democrats

Give credit where it most certainly is due.

The Texas Republican Party has developed what’s called a “ground game” that in this state more than rivals the Democratic efforts at getting voters to turn out.

The ground game has been credited with giving Greg Abbott an astounding victory in his campaign for governor over Wendy Davis.

Are you understanding all of this, Texas Democrats?

As the Texas Tribune reports: “The Abbott campaign’s stealthy ground game started with a huge paid field operation, spread out across Texas and costing $5 million to $6 million. The team, aimed largely at identifying and motivating voters who infrequently participate in state elections, was almost 10 times larger than the one Gov. Rick Perry put together in his 2010 re-election campaign.”

That’s what all the money Abbott raised was able to buy him. He managed to put a lot of players on the field all across the state and worked them hard to turn out the vote in places where Democrats used to stand tall.

The Tribune piece attached to this post lays out it quite clearly. Texas Republicans have gotten the message delivered by national Democrats, particularly those who helped elect Barack Obama president twice. The president’s ground game, and his campaign’s masterful use of social media to put his message forward has paid huge dividends.

My sense now is that the 2016 campaign — which now is more or less officially under way — is going to be a lot more competitive than some of us figured it might have been.

National Republican campaign strategists can look to Texas to see how this game is played and how it is won.

It matters a lot, because as the saying goes: Texas is “like a whole other country.”

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