juan garcia

Have House D’s reached their high-water mark?

Nov 30, 2008 By Paul Burka

My colleague and friend Patricia Kilday Hart has written an excellent story about the speaker's race that appears in the November 28 issue of the Texas Observer. (We will have competing stories, as I have "written" one that will appear in our January issue. You will see why "written" is in quotes when the issue comes out around a week from now.) In her story, Hart writes, "Now Democrats are poised to win back control of the House at the close of the decade, just in time for the next round of legislative redistricting." This made me wonder: Are the Democrats "poised to win back control of the House?" Or are they approaching their high-water mark? Here's the list of all House seats won by Republicans, with district number, opposition (U = unopposed, L = libertarian only, D = Democrat only, DL = Democrat and Libertarian), and percentages of R and D candidates. Races in bold-face indicate potential swing districts. My comments follow the list. 2 -- Flynn, L 4 -- B. Brown, DL, 63.61 - 35.17 5 -- Hughes, U 6 -- Berman, L 7 -- Merritt, L 8 -- B. Cook, U 9 -- Christian, DL, 62.75 - 35.39 10 - Pitts, L 13 - Kolkhorst, U 14 - F. Brown, L 15 - Eissler, U 16 - Creighton, U 17 - Kleinschmidt, DL, 53.99 - 42.84 18 - Otto, 65.43, D, 68.54 - 31.45 19 - Hamilton, DL, 63.92 - 33.98 20 - Gattis, DL, 64.70 - 30.52 24 - Taylor, L 25 - Bonnen, L 26 - C. Howard, U 28 - Zerwas, DL, 60.22 - 38.02 29 - Weber, D, 60.47 - 39.52 30 - Morrison, U 31 - Hunter, DL, 50.13 - 46.79 44 - Kuempel, L 53 - Hildebran, L 54 - Aycock, L 55 - Sheffield, DL, 53.92 - 43.38 56 - Anderson, L 57 - Orr, DL, 70.54 - 26.21 59 - S. Miller, DL, 61.64 - 35.80 60 - Keffer, D, 76.76 - 23.23 61 - P. King, DL, 72.52 - 24.19 62 - Phillips, D, 68.40 - 31.59 63 - Parker, DL, 72.97 - 22.65 64 - Crownover, DL, 56.95 - 39.39 65 - Solomons, L 66 - McCall, L 67 - Madden, L 68 - Hardcastle, U 70 - Paxton, L 71 - S. King, L 72 - Darby, L 73 - D. Miller, DL, 69.43 - 25.96 81 - Lewis, L 82 - Craddick, DL, 62.12 - 35.30 83 - Jones, U 84 - Isett, U 86 - Smithee, DL, 78.68 - 18.26 87 - Swinford, L 88 - Chisum, U 89 -Laubenberg, U 91 - Hancock, DL, 61.27 - 35.91 92 - T. Smith, D, 63.72 -36.27 94 - Patrick, L 97 - Shelton, DL, 55.33 - 42.57 98 - Truitt, DL, 70.42 - 26.64 99 - Geren, DL, 64.79 - 32.41 105 - Harper-Brown, DL, 48.72- 48.67 (still undecided) 108 - Branch, D, 60.60 - 39.39 112 - Button, DL, 56.06 - 39.64 113 - Driver, D, 58.50 - 41.49 114 - Hartnett, U 115 - Jackson, L 121 - Straus, L 122 - Corte, DL, 66.03-29.89 126 - Harless, DL, 59.40 - 38.41 127 - Crabb, DL, 65.64 - 32.29 128 - W. Smith, U 129 - Davis, D, 58.51 - 41.58 130 - Fletcher, L 132 - Callegari, L 135 - Elkins, DL, 58.39 - 39.94 136 - Woolley, L 138 - Bohac, D, 59.00 - 40.99 144 - Legler, D, 51.15 - 48.84 150 - Riddle, DL, 64.34 - 33.53 The most important thing about this list is that 40 of the 76 Republican seats were uncontested by Democrats. Of the 36 contested seats, Republicans won 23 of these with more than 60% of the vote. This means that 63 of the 76 Republican seats are safe seats, unless something unforeseeable occurs, such as a scandal. This leaves the Democrats with 13 seats to work with. Let's take a look at them:

The speaker’s race: How much is Craddick to blame?

Nov 7, 2008 By Paul Burka

As everyone knows by now, Republicans have lost 12 seats since Craddick became speaker. Eight of these losses occurred in the last two elections. The main reason for these losses was not Craddick; it was George W. Bush. But I do think that a close scrutiny of seats won and…

Optimism abounds in the battle for control of the House

Oct 24, 2008 By Paul Burka

I have asked Democratic insiders how their slate of candidates will fare in races for the House of Representatives. Their answer is that the D’s will pick up one to three seats, with a possibility of winning enough seats to capture control of the House. I have asked Republican insiders…