This is the first in a series of periodic analyses of the 2020 general election.
The signs pointed to further Democratic gains in the Texas House of Representatives. Entering Election Day, there were 83 Republican-held seats and 67 Democrat-held seats. Two years earlier, Democrats picked up a net 12 seats. Our model projected they would pick up 10 more on Election Day, which would have given them their first House majority since 2001. We weren’t the only ones predicting a general outcome of Democratic net gains with a legitimate shot at a takeover.
President Trump’s poll numbers in the state supported a narrative of shrinking suburban support, especially among younger voters, women and college-educated Anglo voters. Record amounts of money were pouring into House campaigns, indicating both sides believed the House was in play. The growth in voter registrations was disproportionately occurring in counties carried by Democrats in 2018. Turnout was shattering records as well, finally offering an opportunity to test the well-worn Democratic mantra, “Texas is not a red state, it is a non-voting state.” Four Democrats were jockeying to be the next Speaker.
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