Monday, 19 March, 2018

Texas Primaries See Surging Democratic Turnout & Record Number of Female Candidates

State Senator Todd Kaminsky State Senator Todd Kaminsky
Melissa Porter | 07 March, 2018, 21:11

Unlike many previous election cycles, Texas is the only state hosting a primary on Tuesday and the first in a midterm election cycle drawing intense national interest over whether a possible Democratic wave could flip control of the U.S. House or Senate in November. Democrats and Clinton's campaign saw a similar early vote surge in some key states in 2016, only to be swamped by Republicans at the polls.

Cruz had more than 85 percent of the vote in the Republican primary, while O'Rourke go more than 60 percent of the vote - almost two-and-a-half times the amount of his nearest Democratic opponent, Sema Hernandez.

Democrats remain underdogs to knock off Republican U.S. Sen.

Democrats need to gain 24 seats nationwide to retake the U.S. House of Representatives, a feat that would allow the party to block the Republican president's legislative agenda.

Texas Democrats surged to voting booths in the first primary of the 2018 election campaign, providing a clear demonstration of a fired-up party on pace to send a significant number of women to face Republican congressional candidates in November. Many were running in a record eight open congressional races this year in Texas - two of which are up for grabs after longtime GOP incumbents abandoned plans for re-election amid scandal.

"They are mobilizing in a powerful way", warned Cruz after the polls closed in an interview with the CBS affiliate in Dallas.

There was some good news for Republicans. "They are seeing a very energized Democratic base and they're seeing a Republican base that at this point doesn't appear to be matching Democratic enthusiasm or anywhere close to it past year".

Wall's failure was also a potential warning sign of the limits of Republicans going all-in on Trump this election year.

In an unexpected move, Cruz chose to attack O'Rourke by name before the polls had even closed.

"Left-wing rage may raise a bunch of money from people online, but I don't believe it reflects the views of a majority of Texans", he told reporters after winning the nomination.

"Republican elected officials should be concerned about what they're seeing in Texas", Bonier said. Trump won the state by nine points four years after GOP nominee Mitt Romney beat President Barack Obama by 16 points.

Turnout has been higher this election, compared to the last midterm primary in 2014 - especially among those voting in the Democratic primary. "But in recent weeks, establishment Democrats have had to grapple with progressive candidates [namely, Moser], and far-right Republicans have set their sights and advertising dollars on moderate Republicans".

During the primaries in the last midterms four years earlier, Republicans outvoted Democrats in early voting in those ten counties 253,019 to 184,489, respectively.

On the Republican side, Gov. "And, in that sense, it's becoming a little bit more like California every year".

"It's Trump. It's Trump", said Veronica Escobar, who won her Democratic primary and is now poised to become one of the first Hispanic women to represent Texas in Congress. All three of the Clinton-won districts will hold runoffs to pick the Democratic candidate.

It appears Democrats Lupe Valdez and Andrew White will face off to determine who will oppose the well-funded incumbent GOP governor.

How did the Republican incumbents Gov. Greg Abbott tried to unseat do? George P. Bush, the Texas land commissioner, won a contested primary after he cozied-up to a president who once called his dad, Jeb, a pathetic person.

For the most contested House primary races, Tuesday's contests provided no resolution, only a narrowing of the field. In Texas, the rule remains that a candidate must secure at minimum, 50 percent of votes to avoid a runoff election, which is scheduled for May 22, 2019. But the increase in participation was much greater for Democrats.

Trump won Texas by 9 points in 2016. The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, fearing Moser may be too liberal to win the general election, blistered her for comments from a 2014 Washingtonian magazine article in which Moser said she'd "rather have her teeth pulled out" than live in rural Paris, Texas.

GOP operatives have gleefully watched the drama unfold.

"We have candidates everywhere, and that means we are reaching voters who haven't heard from Democrats in a long time", Texas Democratic Chairman Gilberto Hinojosa told the Associated Press. The San Antonio-border country seat could yield a runoff, as well, between Gina Ortiz Jones, an Air Force veteran, and Jay Hulings, a former federal prosecutor.