Texas Democrats Thought 2020 Would Be a Banner Year. Instead, It Was a Catastrophe.

Editor’s Note: & nbspThis article was written in collaboration with the Texas Observer.

On the way into election night, Democrats were optimistic about their chances of flipping the Texas House, filling a handful of GOP congressional seats, and perhaps even casting the 38 state votes to Joe Biden.

After promising wins in 2018, the Texas Democrats had support from national leadership, well-funded candidates, and grassroots enthusiasm. They also had what they believed to be a clear path to power, centered on the purifying suburbs of the state. And there was sky high come out An early vote, including millions of new voters that the party has long insisted on, would turn the tide in Texas.

But here too the high hopes of the Democrats were decimated. Their goal of making further progress in suburban boroughs proved to be an expensive pipe dream that could ultimately sink the Democrats into a deeper hole than before.

Conquer the Texas House was the top priority for the State party and for many national-democratic-allied groups. Hoping to prevent another decade of GOP wandering, the Democrats pumped tens of millions of dollars into a massive coordinated effort that sought to wrest a lever of state government from Republicans for the first time in nearly two decades. The plan focused on the nine suburbs in which Beto O’Rourke beat Ted Cruz in 2018 and expanded support to additional districts – up to 22 in total – where O’Rourke was relatively competitive. In anticipation of success, four Democrats announced their candidacy as speakers in the past week and a half. El Paso representative Joe Moody said on election day, “Before the day is over, the Democrats will take over Texas House.”

But the GOP’s grip on the lower chamber didn’t loosen at all when the Republicans did one aggressive shock in the home track to protect their majority. While there are still some close races that have not yet been played, it is possible that Democrats could make a net profit of zero seats. Democrats could lose all but one of the nine seats O’Rourke wore in 2018, along with every other competitive state house race. The two remaining Republican State officials, Angie Chen Button and Morgan Meyer, were expected to be among the first to fall but were held with tiny clues. In Collin County, which the Democrats viewed as a major battlefield in the suburbs, Republican incumbent Matt Shaheen leads by just 1,000 votes. Meyer’s Democratic opponent conceded on Wednesday, but the other two races have not yet been played.


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