On MSNBC Saturday, Texas Tribune Washington Bureau chief Abby Livingston told anchor David Gura that the political transformation going on in Texas is massive — and that Republicans should be afraid.
"Cycles have passed where Texas has seemed in play. And what seemed insurmountable is the amount of money it would cost," said Gura. "Is there still a worry about how expensive it is to play in Texas?"
"It is so much more cost effective to play for a place in other states," said Livingston. "What I think is key to remember here, I'm still skeptical the Senate and presidential race could come online in the state a year from now. But enormous resources are being poured into congressional races."
"You spend a lot of time in Texas — I want to ask you about what Ted Cruz said there," said Gura. "He went through this fairly bruising campaign against Beto O'Rourke, who was barely losing. What do those say to you? Yes, Democrats, but also the degree to which this Democratic Party has gotten new voters out."
"He was pushed to his limit," said Livingston. "The margin Beto put out scared him. Saying Texas is so red it glows, you can see it from outer space. Was it immigration? Was it guns? What is this thing that opened doors for him. It could be climate. Texas has run amok. It could be any number of those or a combination of all of them."
"Let's crack the door open for Democrats," said Gura. "What gives them the optimism?"
"I think it is Donald Trump," replied Livingston. "I spent the past weekend in Harris County, which is Houston. The trends for 20 years, Republicans won that county by an about 9 points. You get to 2016, Trump lost the county by 12 points. Ted Cruz lost in 2017 by 17 points. The numbers are dramatic when you factor in the presidential campaign of 2016."