As an alternative, he mentioned, nationwide Democratic leaders handled Texas like a piggy financial institution, elevating cash from donors who lived there for campaigns in different states. “No one believed Texas may very well be received, however it’s a completely different place at present,” he mentioned.

Certainly, the margins for Republicans have shrunk or stayed the identical in presidential elections in Texas during the last decade. In 2012, Republican Senator Mitt Romney received Texas with 57 % of the vote. In 2016, Donald J. Trump earned 52 %. Final 12 months, Mr. Trump once more received 52 %.

Democratic spending has on the similar time grown during the last 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, based on Open Secrets, which tracks political spending throughout the nation.

Due to Texas’ dimension, each Democrats and Republicans spend more cash there than in practically every 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, based on 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 throughout the 2020 presidential major. In 2014, Battleground Texas, an effort led by former Obama aides, spent hundreds of thousands — 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, mentioned Mr. O’Rourke’s marketing campaign was the one statewide Democratic effort in latest reminiscence with a big sufficient finances to succeed in throughout the state. Mr. Anchia mentioned that like different Texas Democrats, he has made the case to nationwide funders that the state may very well be aggressive.

“Now not is Texas thought-about this idiot’s gold,” he mentioned. “It has demographics much like California’s however has been a low-turnout, low-voting state.”