New political group tries to turn Texas into a blue state - KLTV.com-Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville, Texas | ETX News

New political group tries to turn Texas into a blue state

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TYLER, TX (KLTV) -

A new White House sanctioned group is setting out to turn Texas blue. The group is called Battleground Texas and it's made up of former Obama Campaign aides.

Their goal is to use what they learned during the president's campaigns to turn Texas into a battleground state that's more competitive for Democrats.

Battleground Texas says they are ready to get Lone Star Democrats fired up.

"For years on the Obama campaign, the Texas volunteers have been saying Texas can be a battleground state and now we're here to do that," says Jenn Brown, executive director of Battleground Texas.

 Local Democrats welcome the movement but say the group isn't here to save them.

"It's not like in the old Western movies where the 7th cavalry is riding in to rescue us. The work has got to be done by Democrats who are here and are in place," says David Henderson, Smith County Democratic Party Chairman.

Henderson says the party's work starts with getting people to vote, "Democrats in the state of Texas are not outnumbered 60 to 40, we're simply out voted 60 to 40. A lot of the base of the Democratic Party are people who are working people, who are poorly educated, who we've got to get a message to to get out and vote."

Battleground Texas plans to do that through a grassroots approach, including person to person contact with voters.

A method JoAnn Fleming,  executive director of Grassroots America, says Republicans should pay attention to, "I think they do a better job on working on things to turn out the vote sometimes than Republicans do and so I think Republicans as a whole have to get back to the basics."

Still, she thinks the group will have problems, "Texans are very independent minded and do not like for somebody to come in here and tell them how to run their business."

Battleground Texas says people are asking for this movement.

"The reason why we're doing this now is because Texans have been wanting it," Brown says.

The group says they will start reaching out to communities all over the state in March.

Texas has not voted for a Democrat on the presidential ballot since 1976.

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