2014-02-26T212735Z_1_CBREA1P1NM200_RTROPTP_2_USA-POLITICS-TEXAS

Insight: How Obama alums aim to turn Texas toward the Democrats

Battleground Texas regional field director Klein talks with volunteer Crain during a phone call campaign encouraging early voting for Democratic gubernatorial candidate Wendy Davis in AustinBy Andy Sullivan AUSTIN, Texas (Reuters) – In one of the country’s most conservative states, newly hopeful Democrats measure their progress by ringing a bell. For those working to turn Texas from Republican red to Democratic blue, it’s the sound of one more volunteer agreeing to join their ranks. In the past year, alumni from Democratic President Barack Obama’s 2012 campaign quietly have built a grassroots army in Texas, where gun-rights advocates brandish semi-automatic rifles on city streets and pickup trucks bear “SECEDE” bumper stickers. Battleground Texas, as the group is known, is backing Democratic state Senator Wendy Davis’ underdog bid for governor this November against Republican Greg Abbott, the state’s attorney general.

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