This Is Why Texas Is the Next Georgia

If I first met Stacey Abrams 10 years agoI knew immediately that her work in Georgia had great potential. While Stacey kindly referred to my wife and I as her first national supporters – even joking that we supported her before it made sense – the ingredients for success in Georgia have been there all along if you knew what you were after should look for. Now that the world has marveled at the wonder of Georgia, we should consider which states are next and what lessons from the Georgia trip can be applied to the political transformation of other states.

The next state most clearly prepared for a Georgia-like trajectory is Texas.

I’m working on a book for the Neue Presse that analyzes success stories in states that are improving the national political balance of power, and I’ve identified four factors that are critical to victory. All of these elements were present in Georgia, and Texas has a similar constellation of ingredients for success (it’s important to note that while Georgia and Arizona now dominated the national limelight, they have also followed similar paths, with Virginia actually being a bit further away on the trip than most other states).

Favorable terrain

The threshold factor for determining the likelihood of a state switching from red to blue is the composition of the population and the demographics of that population. The 2008 celebration of Barack Obama’s historic victory largely overlooked the fact that he received 47 percent of the vote in Georgia despite removing employees from the state and stopping advertising there. Obama lost Peach State by 205,000 votes, and there were nearly 1 million people of color who were eligible to vote but did not cast any ballots. You didn’t have to be good at math to see that increasing the number of color pickers was the way forward for big changes in Georgia.

Texas at the beginning of this decade is even more promising than Georgia at the beginning of the last decade. The Lone Star State has the second largest pool of non-voting colored people of any state in the country (after California, which is already blue), and the number of potential color voters far exceeds the margin of difference in national elections. Joe Biden lost Texas with 631,221 votes, and despite the record turnout on both sides, 4.5 million eligible blacks still didn’t vote, according to polls and census data. In 2018, Beto O’Rourke lost its Senate bid by 215,000 votes in an election in which 5.4 million people of color failed to cast their ballots. The untapped potential in Texas is enormous, that’s exactly why Conservatives are working so hard to suppress the vote there.

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Level 5 leader

A key cornerstone of success is leadership – in general, and the presence of what author Jim Collins calls the Level 5 Leader in particular. Collins, in his book Good to great analyzed 1,435 companies to distill the essential elements that marked the most successful organizations and described level 5 executives as follows:


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