March 7, 2018

The Democrats Had An Awful Night In Texas

After days of Democrats crowing about turnout in Texas, primary day finally came around and the numbers didn’t look so great for them. Here are the five top reasons Democrats should be fretting last night’s results:

1. A “blue” Texas is still a pipe dream

The Associated Press: “Despite improved Dem showing, Texas GOP sets midterm record”

2. House Democrats face runoffs in all of their competitive races

The DCCC highlighted five Texas districts as battleground races, but after last night the party is forced to wait until the May 22 runoff for a nominee in those districts.

This means more wasted resources out the door before the general election, on top of the $6 million Democrats have spent in those races already.

ABC News: “Texas primary results leave Democrats in limbo”

Roll Call: “Competitive Primaries in Texas Yield Few Outright Wins”

Politico: “National Democrats’ strategy comes up short in Texas”

3. Democrats’ hyped Senate candidate underperformed in the primary

Beto O’Rourke, the Democrats’ main candidate in the Texas Senate race, earned a meager 62 percent of the vote in a non-competitive primary race, showing the weak state of his candidacy:

The New York Times: “Senator Ted Cruz faced minimal opposition in the Republican primary, but his Democratic opponent, Representative Beto O’Rourke, won the nomination while losing a substantial number of votes to two little-known opponents, demonstrating that he is not well known yet among many of the state’s voters.”

The Wall Street Journal: “Although Mr. O’Rourke victory was solid, early returns showed his support was weak in the rural areas where he has done a great deal of campaigning in his effort to appear in every one of the state’s 254 counties. While Mr. Cruz won his party’s nomination by a resounding margin, Mr. O’Rourke in early returns was losing more than one-third of the Democratic primary vote to two little known, poorly funded opponents.”

The Guardian: “In a sign that the early burst of Democratic energy may struggle to overcome entrenched Republican dominance in the long run, Republicans gained ground on election day itself. Cruz ultimately won more than twice as many votes as O’Rourke and the total number of Democratic voters was around one million compared with 1.5 million Republicans.”

4. The DCCC’s attacks on a Democratic candidate failed

National Democrats attacked Laura Moser in the primary for Texas’ 7th district, hoping to keep her out of a runoff for the nomination, but that strategy completely backfired:

Vox: “The DCCC’s scorched earth campaign against Texas Democrat Laura Moser backfired”

The Huffington Post: “Progressive Democrat Blasted By Her Own Party Advances In Texas Primary”

Mother Jones: “The DCCC’s First Big Test of 2018 Blew Up in Its Face”

5. Chuck Schumer’s candidate in TX29 lost big

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer tried his hand at politics in the Lone Star State…, but he proved to be all hat, no cattle with his candidate not even forcing a run off.