In a memo titled, “House Democrats Playing Offense,” the federal Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee announced three Texas congressional seats are among its “round one” targets for 2018:

  • CD7, a district entirely within Harris Co. held by U.S. Rep. John Culberson (R-Houston)
  • CD23, the 2016 battleground district retained by U.S. Rep. Will Hurd (R-San Antonio) over its former occupant, Pete Gallego (D-Alpine); and
  • CD32, a district occupying portions of Dallas and Collin Cos. held by U.S. Rep. Pete Sessions (R-Dallas).

Culberson received 56% of the vote to win a ninth term, the second lowest vote percentage of any Republican incumbent of the Texas congressional delegation. Hurd narrowly won his rematch against former U.S. Rep. Pete Gallego (D-Alpine), 48%-47%. Sessions faced only minor party opposition in the general election.

We will look at the three districts’ voting trends in the coming days. At first blush, any opportunity to flip these districts would require a significant surge in Democratic voters in the gubernatorial cycle coupled with a deterioration of Republican support down the ballot. President Trump’s margin in Texas was considerably smaller than other recent Republican candidates, but his relative unpopularity did not adversely impact down-ballot races.

That said, Hurd criticized Trump’s Executive Order limiting immigration from several Islamic nations, while Sessions defended the ban and Culberson called it a “necessary pause.”