Central Texas Democrats hope Hispanic voters might tip Texas in favor of Hillary Clinton.
Democratic U.S. Representative Joaquin Castro attended an event at the Cen-Tex Hispanic Chamber of Commerce on Monday. And, local party leaders confirmed his visit was part of a larger strategy to appeal to Hispanic voters who feel alienated by Donald Trump's tough stance on immigration.
In recent weeks, local Democrats have stepped up their ground game by campaigning door-to-door and distributing fliers to area businesses.
The latest TEGNA poll shows Trump just four points ahead of Clinton in the Lone Star State. That is within the margin of error, which has surprised pundits in a staunchly conservative state that hasn't seen a Democrat win since Jimmy Carter in 1976. Castro blames the shift on top Texas republicans who have pushed the party to the far right and beyond the traditional conservative values that many Texans share.
"People like Ted Cruz, people like Dan Patrick who continue to try to divide people, who continue to try to divide people, who continue not to listen to the people of Texas but continue moving further and further to the right -- they really have created this situation," Castro said.
Castro delivered a short speech around dinnertime to a crowded room that included local Democratic leaders and a group of students. The congressman, who currently represents District 20 in the San Antonio area, hinted he might consider running for Senate against Republican Ted Cruz in 2018.
"I'll take a close look at it," Castro said. "Right now my priority is making sure we elect good people."