I am deeply disappointed that we did not win in Texas.
Despite record turnout and an extraordinary effort on the part of our volunteers, Texas voters chose Donald Trump and Republican incumbents at nearly every place on the ballot.
For whatever it’s worth, it looks to be part of a larger, national trend. No matter the devastation wrought by this administration — hundreds of thousands dead from Covid and tens of millions out of work — our fellow Americans in state after state have voted to reduce the Democrats’ majority in the U.S. House, to keep control of the Senate in Republican hands and to deliver an uncomfortably close Presidential race.
As we continue to follow the national results, I wanted to leave you with a look at the work we’ve accomplished this year. It may offer only cold comfort in the wake of these losses, but these achievements are worth keeping in mind as we begin to think about the work that lies ahead.
Over the course of this year Powered by People’s volunteers and supporters like you are responsible for the following:
- We made over 76 million contact attempts to Texas voters (57.8 million texts and 18.3 million calls);
- We helped register nearly 200,000 likely-Democrat Texas voters;
- During the beginning of the pandemic, before the CARES Act was passed by Congress, we filled over 17,000 food bank shift hours across Texas;
- We brought in more than 10,000 volunteers to call, text or knock on the doors of Texas voters;
- We helped raise $2,034,165 for Democratic candidates and organizers in Texas (in addition to what we raised to run Powered by People);
And this one doesn’t have a measurable number to it, but I know it to be true: we gave it our best and we gave it our all.
I can’t help but imagine what we could have done if we were not restrained by the pandemic from knocking on doors and meeting voters at their homes, in their communities, across the state.
We’ve built a powerful grassroots volunteer organization and I’m hopeful that what we’ve learned this past year can be put to use in winning elections in future years. Remember, this state last voted for the Democratic nominee in 1976; last sent a Democrat to the Senate in 1988; last elected any Democrat statewide in 1994. We’re bound to get knocked down a few times (maybe a lot of times) before we finally win. The question for you, for me, for all of us, is: are you willing to get up again?
As awful as the Texas results are, as hard as it is right now, we must move forward and try again. Because, what’s the alternative? Can you accept conceding the future of this state to permanent GOP and Trumpist control? There’s much to learn from this election. Many people to whom we must humbly listen, to better understand what’s happened and what we can do better. But let’s commit ourselves now to doing whatever it takes when we get back up and get back after it.
I was watching the returns last night, and, exhausted from the day and dispirited from the results, I walked upstairs early, got in bed and passed out for nine hours. I haven’t slept more than five hours straight in months. But I think my body and my mind knew that it was over, we’d done all we could, we pushed as hard we knew how, we left it all on the field and it was time to acknowledge there was no more that could be done for this election.
Now, like you, I’m watching the remaining states declare their winners for President as we approach a clear victor in the Electoral College. I remain ready to do whatever I can in the coming days for our democracy.
But for now, I am overcome by my deep gratitude for you and this team. I can’t tell you how inspired I am by all who contributed to the work, knowing the sacrifice entailed and the willing suspension of cynicism and fatigue that is required to believe in Texas. It leaves me feeling hopeful still, and only strengthens my dedication to Texas, to this team and to the work of helping this state fulfill its potential and promise.
I hope to once again have the chance to do that work with you.
With love and gratitude,
Editor’s Note: The above guest column was penned by Beto O’Rourke, a former congressman from El Paso, Texas, and former U.S. Senate candidate.
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