Texas stands at a monumental moment in statewide political history. Beto has run an all-around impressive campaign that seems the Size of Everything – from its fundraising performance, to the success of its voter contact operation, to its budding romance with our nation, and most importantly – in the thousands of Texans magnetized to his events for the future of Texas.
As a reminder, we launched Poli Pix Co. to offer substantial media support to progressive movers and shakers across the Southwest, and have devoted significant attention toward documenting Beto’s meteoric rise this cycle. To celebrate our collective standing at the foot of history-in-the-making, we’re taking a look at our final chapter in Beto’s visual storyline to Election Day.
This photo essay begins on the sunset of September, when supporters descended onto Austin’s Auditorium Shores for ‘Turn Out For Texas’ – a historic Beto rally headlined by Texas musical artists Willie Nelson and his Family Band, Leon Bridges, Joe Ely, Tameca Jones, and Carrie Rodriguez. The following day reports on the attendees varied between 55,000 and 63,000 (campaign organizer estimates), making this rally the largest since a presidential campaign event for Barack Obama that drew 73,000 in 2008.
We hopped back on the trail as Beto pursued a tour of Texas colleges and universities just days ahead of Texas’ voter registration deadline. Defying conventional campaign logic, he engaged first-time voters in a manner that spoke to the issues that really matter to them – action on climate change, protecting women’s rights to their own body autonomy, ensuring equitable access to affordable healthcare, and standing up protections for LGBTQ communities everywhere. The newest leaders in Texas responded in-kind. As of the close of Early Voting in Texas last Friday, participation from registered voters aged 18-29 had blossomed by over 500% when compared to the Early Voting period of 2014’s midterm elections. Looking back on our event galleries from across the state, it’s easy to see this would come to pass.
Other events are sprinkled in, as well. Enjoy!
Answer: It’s Beto.
This evening caps yet another stellar day of early voting across the State of Texas, so we’re highlighting some impressive figures and corresponding images coming out Collin County, TX. We’re not surprised. Back in mid-September, we observed a remarkable indicator of appeal for Beto at a 9/15 campaign rally hosted at Legacy Hall in Plano. The crowd numbering around 2,000 shocked our assumption about the kind of Democratic turnout possible for North Texas.
According to a Tuesday (10/23) post on the Community Impact Newspaper‘s website, current total voter turnout in Collin County (McKinney, Plano) represented a more than 400% increase when compared to the 2nd day of the Early Voting in 2014. Keep in mind Collin County in 2016 went for Trump with final results showing 55.6% to Clinton’s 38.9% – totally eclipsing the TX-03 Congressional District’s Cook PVI score of R+13 in favor of the GOP. That last figure generally means Republican candidates enjoy a hefty and comfortable double-digit lead against generic Democratic candidates.
We’re frantically working to deliver all of our still outstanding 2 dozen event galleries before Early Voting opens and closes, which starts today and ends on November 2. So here’s one from a sweltering afternoon in Denton, TX on September 15, 2018! This rally for Beto drew at least 1,500 people at the Backyard on Bell – a supremely cool local spot.
Looking back a few weeks from this event, it’s our observation it was in the Southside of Dallas where the sands truly began shifting toward Beto O’Rourke’s effort to oust Ted Cruz from the U.S. Senate.
It was here where the confluence of important discussions about racial injustice and a historic setting clicked together to catapult Beto into the portion of his campaign forever defined as massive rallies happening throughout Texas. Sure, up until this point, Beto had filled plenty of rooms with above-capacity crowds. But it was on September 14th at the Good Street Baptist Church in the Dallas suburb of Oak Cliff, where Poli Pix Co. observed Beto drawing crowds consistently numbering over 1,000 people in attendance.
Days before this rally, Beto’s comments on black athletes’ rights as Americans to peacefully protest racial injustices on the field went viral and both drew the focus of national news media and began cultivating national acclaim by Americans close to the issue. Take that environment and overlay it with an already-tense community affected by the unjust killing of Dallas resident Botham Jean in his own apartment in the weeks prior. And finally, consider the historical significance of this rally’s venue – the historic Good Street Baptist Church – as being the only church in Texas to welcome a sermon from Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. back in 1956.
What you are left with as the product of this calculus is nothing less than a defining moment in this Senate race. Poli Pix was truly humbled to join the community of Good Street for this historic occasion; the exact time and place where the important work of addressing criminal justice reform took center stage for the people of Texas.
Here are a few of our images from the event: