The thunderous Dallas Morning News endorsement of Hillary Clinton this morning must not be minimized, or dismissed as a fluke. For those not aware, this right-wing newspaper is Texas. Not the Texas of the minorities, the students, the working class, or many of Texas’s progressive-leaning professionals; rather, the Texas of the old monied, the propertied, the business barons, the suburban gentry and the ranchers of the endless Texas prairie.
For the Dallas Morning News to defy the official Republican Party line and reject its candidate in damning terms is like splitting the state asunder, letting loose the pent-up energies of millions of forward-thinking Texans who’ve been blocked by decades of obstructionist Republican administrations.
The Dallas Morning News political about-face reflects the low esteem Texans have for Trump, and Clinton’s strong current showing in the state polls. But the endorsement also caps years of steady voter registration drives among minority communities, pro-women activism, and determined election campaigns such as Senator Wendy Davis’ run for Governor.
Today’s striking Dallas Morning News endorsement offers an enormous game-changing opportunity to the Clinton campaign: the Clinton team should mount a bold, aggressive, targeted TV ad campaign, and maintain it through October.
A balanced, sustained anti-Trump, pro Clinton TV campaign in Texas will
- Force the Republicans to spend hundreds of thousands of scarce dollars on defense
- Expose Texans to the many flaws and lies of the Trump campaign — most Texans still have little to no knowledge of the Trump U fraud scandal, Trump’s campaign law violations, Trump’s legacy of failed Casinos and other businesses, or Trump’s now-you-see-it-on-video, now-he-denies-it history for over a year of misogyny, sexism, racism, and flat-out anti-Constitutional statements
- Let Texans see for themselves why so many true Republicans and Conservatives have openly stated he is not fit to be Commander-in-Chief.
On the positive side, the campaign will
- Energize the Democratic candidates and their supporters — the Democrats of Texas have not seen support from the national party in the past fifty years
- Motivate Black and Latino voters to register, then come out to vote
- Be a lightning rod for a hundred thousand or more Texas students — these young people have no effective way to show their contempt for Trump; a push by the Clinton campaign would give their voices a megaphone
- Show Texas voters who Hillary Clinton really is, and what she has really done over her 40-plus years of dedicated public service.
The potential results of this bold campaign stratagem are profound:
- Flip Texas, with its 38 Electoral Votes, from red to blue in the current election
- Potentially carry several Democratic congressional candidates to victory, flipping those vital House seats
- Give a stunning win to the progressive New Texas Coalition forces in the first battle for a permanently purple Texas going forward.
Moving Texas to the political center in one bold move would radically change the political strategic map for 2020 and beyond.
But the win this November needs to be the first step. It can be accomplished with a precision-guided Democratic ad campaign.