When former U.S. Rep. Beto O’Rourke (D-El Paso) edged out U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz (R), 49.9%-49.2%, in Tarrant Co., he became the first Democrat to win countywide since 1994. Despite the narrow loss, Cruz won every Republican-held district in 2018. Some of them were very close:

  • HD96 – 91 votes (49.7%-49.5%)
  • HD97 – 1,381 votes (50.6%-48.6%)
  • HD92 – 1,527 votes (50.8%-48.3%)
  • HD93 – 1,583 votes (50.9%-48.2%)
  • HD94 – 2,044 votes (51.1%-47.9%)

Cruz’s small margins marked a dramatic free fall from Mitt Romney’s far headier victories over President Barack Obama in 2012, and even paled to Donald Trump’s much-reduced but still robust 2016 margin over Hillary Clinton.

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Straight-party voting lifted Cruz to his narrow victories in each of these districts, but straight-party voting has been shifting toward the Democrats in every Tarrant Co. House district except HD95, a majority Black district currently held by Rep. Nicole Collier (D-Fort Worth). Democrats reduced Republicans’ countywide advantage in straight-party voting by more than 31K votes since 2012.

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