2020 Turf Wars: Harris Headed to Beto’s Texas on Friday | NTK Network 2020 Turf Wars: Harris Headed to Beto’s Texas on Friday

2020 Turf Wars: Harris Headed to Beto’s Texas on Friday

It’s “an unmistakable warning shot” to O’Rourke, according to two Politico reporters.

By NTK Staff | 03.21.2019 @1:30pm
2020 Turf Wars: Harris Headed to Beto’s Texas on Friday

In what is being perceived as a “warning shot” to former congressman and fellow presidential candidate Beto O’Rourke, Sen. Kamala Harris (D-CA) is traveling to Texas this weekend to meet with Democrats in two major media markets.

Harris plans to hit the Dallas-Fort Worth media market on Friday, followed by a visit to Houston on Saturday:

She’ll meet Friday outside Dallas with Tarrant County Democrats, then it’s on to Houston Saturday for a big rally at Texas Southern University in Houston. It’s the start of a sustained, delegate-focused strategy that aims to take advantage of the front-loaded primary calendar in which Texas and California will significantly shape the race on March 3.

Harris has already reached out to Congressional Black Caucus members from Texas, including Reps. Eddie Bernice Johnson, Sheila Jackson Lee, Al Green, Colin Allred and Marc Veasey, according to a Democrat familiar with the calls.

Per Politico, the move is designed to make inroads in O’Rourke’s home state, where political observers believe he’ll have some sort of home field advantage. Texas’s March 3 primary date also puts it early in the political calendar, making it that much more important. Harris’s home state of California will also hold its primary on March 3. Winning the two largest states in the union would be a massive boon to any candidate.

“There’s a certain type of cruelty involved in having both Texas and California on the same day because they both are large, populous, diverse states with more than a dozen media markets that are quite frankly hard to get around,” one Texas Democratic strategist told Politico.

Harris’s team is not worried about appearing too overzealous, either. In fact, they view the strategic move as a sign to backers that she is ready for a fight.

She wants to make clear that she’s willing to go toe-to-toe with O’Rourke, the charismatic Gen-Xer who starts the race with more money and a similar knack for drawing media and exciting audiences.

“There is no state in America we will cede to anyone,” a senior Harris campaign official told POLITICO. “We see a lot of opportunity to deepen support with African American and Latino communities and to expand into suburban areas where Democrats are resurgent.”

Harris’s campaign plans to focus on winning over black and Latino voters in the heavily populated areas of Houston and Dallas. It’s there that they believe they can “win a significant share of Texas delegates.”

It’s not yet clear what O’Rourke’s strategy is for winning over Lone Star State voters. He narrowly lost a race to Sen. Ted Cruz in the fall. But he said he is not taking any vote for granted, “and that includes the people of Texas.”

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