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The place management of the subsequent Texas Legislature shall be determined


The 86th Legislature runs from Jan. eight to Could 27. From the state funds to well being care to training coverage — and the politics behind all of it — we concentrate on what Texans must know concerning the biennial legislative session.

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In 31 of the state’s 150 Texas Home districts, the highest candidates for the Republicans and Democrats completed fewer than 10 share factors aside in final yr’s basic election.

These outcomes present a tough information to the political battlefield in Texas in 2020: 18 of these seats are actually held by Republicans and 13 are held by Democrats. A tighter description of competitiveness — districts the place the events’ prime candidates completed fewer than 5 share factors aside — narrows the listing to 13 Home districts, together with seven now held by Republicans and 6 now held by Democrats.

Statewide, the common Republican candidate on the 2018 poll outdid the common Democrat by 7.three share factors, in response to an evaluation of district-by-district election outcomes compiled by the Texas Legislative Council.

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The partisan cut up within the Home is slim sufficient to offer partisans on each side loads to scheme about. Republicans maintain 83 seats. Democrats maintain 65, with particular election runoffs in Democratic districts subsequent month to determine the remaining two spots.

That slim listing of probably shut districts contains Republican state Reps. Rick Miller of Sugar Land, Invoice Zedler of Arlington, Matt Shaheen and Jeff Leach of Plano, Dwayne Bohac of Houston, Morgan Meyer of Dallas and Angie Chen Button of Richardson. The Democrats on the listing are all freshmen: State Reps. Gina Calanni of Katy, Michelle Beckley of Carrollton, Jon Rosenthal of Houston, Vikki Goodwin of Austin, John Turner of Dallas and Erin Zwiener of Driftwood.

Eleven Republicans are in districts the place their celebration’s statewide candidates received by greater than 5 share factors however fewer than 10, together with Tony Tinderholt of Arlington, Ed Thompson of Pearland, Craig Goldman and Matt Krause of Fort Value, John Zerwas of Richmond, Sam Harless of Spring, Jonathan Stickland of Bedford, Steve Allison of San Antonio, Lynn Stucky of Denton and Brad Buckley of Killeen.

Seven Democrats discover themselves in the identical scenario, together with James Talarico of Spherical Rock, Rhetta Andrews Bowers of Garland, Abel Herrero of Robstown, Ryan Guillen of Rio Grande Metropolis, Julie Johnson of Carrollton, John Bucy III of Austin and Ana-Maria Ramos of Richardson.

One Democrat — Calanni — represents a district the place Republicans, on common, received these statewide elections. Two Republicans are in districts the place Democrats prevailed on the prime, together with Bohac and Sarah Davis of Houston.

However no Home Democrat has a district the place Ted Cruz beat Beto O’Rourke. Quite a few Republicans do: Allison, Stucky, Miller, Leach, Shaheen, Bohac, Button, Meyer, and Davis.

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Donald Trump defeated Hillary Clinton in six Home districts the place Democrats shall be defending their seats: Zweiner, Calanni, Beckley, Rosenthal, Talarico and Goodwin. However Clinton received in these Republicans’ districts: Bohac, Button, Meyer and Davis.

The combo within the Texas Senate doesn’t seem like in any form of uncommon hassle; solely one of many seats that shall be on the 2020 poll — SD-19, the place Republican Pete Flores scored a political upset final yr and received in a district that sometimes favors Democrats. Within the different 15 Senate districts on the 2020 poll, the eight Republican and 7 Democratic incumbents can be searching for reelection in districts dominated by their very own events.

It’s a testomony to the partisan energy of the Senate’s redistricting maps. In Flores’ case, Cruz misplaced by greater than 14 share factors. In 2016, Trump misplaced by greater than 11 factors. And the common statewide Democrat beat the common Republican there by greater than 10 share factors final yr.

That seat shall be a scorching spot for each events; the remaining may see major fights however are much less prone to flip within the basic election until the candidates make large errors.

On paper, that’s not sufficient to rock the Senate in 2020, both means. However with as much as a fifth of the Home seats in play, each events have room for hope and terror. And with redistricting coming within the 2021 session, the partisans have one thing to struggle over.

Disclosure: Sam Harless has been a monetary supporter of The Texas Tribune, a nonprofit, nonpartisan information group that’s funded partially by donations from members, foundations and company sponsors. Monetary supporters play no position within the Tribune’s journalism. Discover a full listing of them right here.

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