Voter Enthusiasm: A new national NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll highlights a couple of stark realities faced by U.S. Rep. Beto O’Rourke (D-El Paso) and Democrats across the state trying to build a blue wave. Their core constituencies are, yet again, less interested in the midterm elections than core Republican constituencies.

According to the poll, 73% of “seniors” indicated their interest in the election was a 9 or 10 on a 10-point scale, double the rate of “independents” (37%) and “young voters” (35%). Men (60%) were slightly more interested than women (56%), and a significantly greater share of Anglos (61%) said they were highly interested in the election than African-Americans (53%) and Hispanics/Latinos (49%).

The national poll’s findings are similar to what Texas Lyceum found in its July poll of Texas adults. Forty percent of adults aged 65 and older said they were “extremely interested in politics and public affairs,” compared to just 11% of adults under 30. Men (31%) were more likely to be “extremely interested” than women (24%), and Anglos (34%) were slightly more likely to be “extremely interested” as African-Americans (31%) and nearly twice as likely as Hispanics/Latinos (18%). “Independents” (14%) were significantly less likely to be “extremely interested” in politics and public affairs as self-identified Republicans (35%) or Democrats (28%).

SD19: Sen.-elect Pete Flores (R-Pleasanton) will be sworn in on October 12 at 10 a.m. in the Senate Chamber.

House Speaker: The House Republican caucus has scheduled a December 1 meeting during which it will select its preferred candidate for Speaker. The caucus changed its bylaws last year to create an internal election process. A candidate for Speaker must receive the support of two thirds of the caucus to be considered the caucus’s preferred candidate. The vote threshold drops to three fifths if neither of the last two candidates can get to two thirds’ support. The bylaws do not include enforcement provisions, but outside conservative groups would surely pounce on any member who votes against the caucus’s preferred candidate. One of those groups, Empower Texans, called the change a “stunning failure” for not implementing the State Republican Executive Committee’s endorsed process.

CD12: The Dallas Morning News endorsed U.S. Rep. Kay Granger (R-Fort Worth).

CD24: The Dallas Morning News endorsed U.S. Rep. Kenny Marchant (R-Carrollton).

CD26: The Dallas Morning News endorsed U.S. Rep. Michael Burgess (R-Lewisville).

CD32: An ongoing New York Times/Siena Coll. poll shows U.S. Rep. Pete Sessions (R-Dallas) leading challenger Colin Allred (D), 48%-47%, a statistical tie well within the poll’s current (as of press time) margin of error of ±4.9%. The pollsters have made nearly 43K calls to speak to 488 people.

CD33: The Dallas Morning News endorsed U.S. Rep. Marc Veasey (D-Fort Worth).

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