Wendy Davis. Battleground Texas. “The emerging Hispanic majority.” Texas Democrats had a lot of reasons to think this might be the election cycle when their fortunes turned. But barring some sort of November miracle (or, depending on your point of view, calamity), Texas will remain in Republican hands come 2015.
Texas Democrats have, as we all know, been flailing over the past few decades. They are the minority party in both houses of the Lege and haven’t won a statewide race since 1994. Underdogs, we might call them. And even if they’ve been showing signs of life over the past few months, many observers remain unimpressed: if Democrats don’t start announcing campaigns for the 2014 elections, they won’t even win the Participation Award.
The fact that Hillary Clinton isn’t officially running for president in 2016 has done little to curb speculation about what will happen if she does. Democrats are excited about the prospect in part because some very early polling suggests that she would do pretty well—that she might, in fact, have a chance at winning the big red state of Texas.
Melissa Clouthier’s Wednesday post on the widely read conservative blog took Rick Perry and Texas Republicans to task for being soft on budget cuts and the use of the Rainy Day Fund:
Texas enjoys a super-majority Republican status. As a friend pointed out to me, if Texas Republicans wanted to wholesale rewrite the Texas constitution with nary a Democrat involved, they could do it.
As mayor of Houston, White enjoyed considerable support – political and financial – from Republicans. But he occupied a nonpartisan office. Can he repeat that success in a partisan race against an incumbent Republican governor, and can he do it outside of Houston as well as inside?
In a nutshell: Democrats did very well in the Dallas-Fort Worth area. In the rest of the state, not so well. Their hopes for picking up multiple seats in Harris County did not bear fruit. They lost one of their few rural seats in Robbie Cook’s old district. I’m going to list all the races that were in play, by district number, with the prevailing candidate listed first:
Homer (D) vs. Hollingsworth (R)
Homer has just under a 2,000 vote lead with 9 boxes out, all of them in Delta County.
Twenty and a half million. That’s Texas’ projected population in 2000—an increase of more than 20 percent since 1990—and Republicans are salivating at the prospect of gaining seats in the mandatory 2001 redrawing of legislative and congressional districts. Any area that did not keep up with the state’s growth rate will lose seats. The most vulnerable regions are rural West and Northeast Texas and, surprisingly, the urban counties of Harris, Dallas, and Bexar; West Texas rates to lose two seats, and the urban counties one each.
AT LEAST DAN MORALES knew that the mere proclamation he was going to have a press conference was not likely to stop the world in its tracks. The night before and all that morning, some supporters, as well as the attorney general himself, were busy calling around to say that at the press conference Morales would announce the startling news that he would not run for reelection. The calls worked well enough.
SPRING IS LITMUS-TEST time in Texas politics. Many voters in the March 12 primaries will be activists whose chief loyalty is to a faction rather than to a party, so the winners of those races will likely be candidates who can pass ideological muster. Here are some of the crucial contests that will decide who has clout in ’96—and who doesn’t.