We continue our analysis of potentially competitive Texas House districts with an exploration of Brazos, Brazoria and Fort Bend Counties (We admit we are stretching the definition of Southeastern Texas to include Brazos Co.).

Brazos County

HD14 (Lean Republican) sits entirely within the home county of Texas A&M Univ., and the campus is right at its heart. Comprising nearly all of Bryan and College Station, HD14 has been held by Rep. John Raney (R-Bryan), himself an Aggie, since he won a December 2011 special election. Yet the district is growing less hostile to Democrats, moving from 6.8 points redder than the state as a whole in 2012 to just 1.5 points redder in 2018.

Former Rep. Beto O’Rourke’s (D-El Paso) campaign may be one factor behind the district’s sudden 4-point blueward jump in 2018. In the 10 precincts including and immediately surrounding the campus, O’Rourke beat U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz (R) by nearly 1,500 votes, and the number of registered voters increased by more than 2K over 2016, when Donald Trump carried the precincts over Hillary Clinton by 274 votes.

Cruz defeated O’Rourke in the district as a whole by just over 1K votes (3.25 percentage points). Trump won the district by nearly 8K votes (15 points) in 2016. Mitt Romney won it by 10.5K votes (28 points) over President Obama in 2012.

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