A Harbinger For Democrats ?


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The Special Election in Texas Was All Bad News for the Democrat Hopes to Keep the House in 2022

Texas 6 is located south of the Dallas-Fort Worth metroplex and has a demographic make-up of approximately 40% black and Hispanic voters. Pres. Trump carried the district in 2016 by 12%, but in 2020 he won Texas 6 by a margin of only 51-48%. The district has a +6 partisan advantage for the GOP in voter registration.

The special election contest held on Saturday to fill the seat left vacant by Wright began with an “open” primary – the seat could be won if any single candidate received more than 50% of the vote. If no candidate received more than 50% of the vote, Saturday’s top 2 vote-getters would meet in a runoff to decide the winner.

Twenty-three candidates ended up on the ballot. The GOP swept the top two positions, and the district will remain in GOP’s hands after the runoff. But the story is more interesting when you look closely at some of the numbers in the contest.

Of the top 10 vote-getters, 6 were GOP candidates, and those 6 GOP candidates aggregated almost 53% of the total vote. The 4 Democrats in the top 10 accounted for less than 32% of the total vote. The next three finishers – 2 GOP and 1 Democrat – received approximately 7.5% combined. So those 13 candidates accounted for nearly 93% of all the votes cast, with the bottom 10 combining to receive the remaining 7%.

The GOP candidates took almost 59% of the 93% among all candidates who received 2% or more, while the Democrats received only 35% of that group – a spread of 24% between the parties. In a district that has only a +6 registration advantage for the GOP, this outcome means the energy among the electorate is all with the GOP. Democrat voters did not necessarily become GOP voters, they simply didn’t vote.