The northwest Texas district is still predominantly rural, but the growth in the universities and the further development of medical/biotech hubs in Lubbock and Abilene have brought an influx of younger, more progressive residents in more urban and suburban areas.
He's no longer hearing misguided hysterics over "socialized medicine," given the rising cost of healthcare and the increasingly limited availability. One voter that he met on the trail told Levario that he had to go to Europe to get affordable care for his cancer; many others have had family members or friends forgo medical care, due to the expense, until it was too late. The cruel reality of the modern medical business, even in a district with so many medical research centers, has changed the attitude of voters there.
"We haven't moved our platform to the center. We believe in people. We don't shy away from Medicare for All because that's what people want. They said you've got to be more moderate. People 60 and older were still believing that we've got tread lightly here, saying we live in a conservative district and we should more in the middle. I listened, but then as I said, when we go and talk to people, they don't want 'moderate,' they want what they want. They want healthcare, they want funding for their schools. They want their teachers to get paid. We don't frame it as being liberal, progressive, socialist, or Democrat. That might turn off people because of the cultural context here. But the platform and the plans and proposals that we offer are certainly along those lines of a progressive candidate. I always tell people it's more expensive to avoid your constituents. You've got to make commercials and all kinds of stuff so that you can avoid them, but if you just confront them, it's actually much cheaper. Just have to pay for gas."
If Democrats can win a district like this, the GOP's hold on so much of the country will no longer be a sure thing.
(Article changed on September 27, 2018 at 22:44)
(Article changed on September 29, 2018 at 00:44)