As a substitute, he stated, nationwide Democratic leaders handled Texas like a piggy financial institution, elevating cash from donors who lived there for campaigns in different states. “No person believed Texas might be gained, however it’s a totally different place immediately,” he stated.

Certainly, the margins for Republicans have shrunk or stayed the identical in presidential elections in Texas over the past decade. In 2012, Republican Senator Mitt Romney gained Texas with 57 % of the vote. In 2016, Donald J. Trump earned 52 %. Final yr, Mr. Trump once more gained 52 %.

Democratic spending has on the identical time grown over the past a number of cycles: Whereas about $75 million went to Democratic candidates within the state in 2016, roughly $213 million went to Democratic candidates in 2020. That 2020 quantity was nonetheless dwarfed by the $388 million spent on Republican candidates, in keeping with Open Secrets, which tracks political spending throughout the nation.

Due to Texas’ measurement, each Democrats and Republicans spend more cash there than in practically some other state within the nation. However the proportion spent on Democratic candidates is among the lowest within the nation. Roughly 35 % of all political spending in Texas goes towards Democrats, in keeping with Open Secrets and techniques. In Wisconsin, a key swing state in each election, 49 % goes towards Democrats.

There have been some high-profile makes an attempt at investing within the state earlier than: Michael R. Bloomberg’s marketing campaign spent a number of million {dollars} for Joe Biden in the course of the 2020 presidential major. In 2014, Battleground Texas, an effort led by former Obama aides, spent tens of millions — solely to have each Democrat lose in statewide elections.

Rafael Anchia, a Democratic state lawmaker from Dallas who’s the chairman of the Mexican American Legislative Caucus, stated Mr. O’Rourke’s marketing campaign was the one statewide Democratic effort in latest reminiscence with a big sufficient price range to succeed in throughout the state. Mr. Anchia stated that like different Texas Democrats, he has made the case to nationwide funders that the state might be aggressive.

“Not is Texas thought-about this idiot’s gold,” he stated. “It has demographics just like California’s however has been a low-turnout, low-voting state.”