We conclude our analysis of potentially competitive Texas House districts with a discussion of South and West Texas. To skip to the punchline, we do not expect any of the seats discussed here to flip.
What’s more interesting here is the potential long-term shifts in partisan lean of a traditional Democratic stronghold. Throughout our series of analyses of potentially competitive House races, nearly every highlighted seat has shifted toward the Democrats – even if they remain friendly to Republicans – over the long term, accelerating in the short term. The opposite is largely true in South Texas.
Since 2012, the collective straight-party voting shift toward the Republicans in these 13 House districts is nearly 25K votes. In six years, the number of South Texans voting a Republican straight-party vote increased by nearly 35K, far outpacing the Democrats’ 10K increase. The largest increases in Republican straight-party voters occurred in the two districts already held by Republicans: HD32, currently held by Rep. Todd Hunter (R-Corpus Christi), and HD43, currently held by Rep. J.M. Lozano (R-Kingsville), who is running unopposed. Republican straight-party voting increased in all 13 South Texas districts, but Democratic straight-party voting increased in only seven.
Measured against the state as a whole, all 13 districts’ partisan leans have shifted toward the Republicans.
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