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Endorsements can carry weight in primary elections, particularly when the groups issuing them have motivated, active and well-informed constituencies behind them.

We analyzed how 30 influential business associations, ideological and grassroots groups and other issue-oriented PACs’ endorsed candidates fared in the 2016 primary and runoff elections. We have listed their endorsements in another post. We chose to exclude corporate employee PACs, law firms and lobby groups from this analysis.

In general, business groups and associations’ endorsed candidates were more successful than ideological or issue-oriented groups’ candidates. This is not surprising given that the primary elections were, on balance, kind to the status quo in both parties. The Democratic primary was particularly stable, so groups that made endorsements in that primary tended to land higher on the list than groups who endorsed solely in the Republican primary and runoff elections.

We have ranked the 30 PACs in order from the highest winning percentage of their endorsed candidates to the lowest. We calculate these as the percent of endorsed candidates who ultimately won their contested elections out of the total number of endorsed candidates in contested primary elections. If a group or PAC endorsed multiple candidates in a race, all candidates are counted. For example, if a PAC’s two endorsed candidates for SD24 advanced to the runoff, it counts as two primary wins. In the runoff, it counts as one win and one loss. Overall, it counts as one win and one loss.

Candidates who were unopposed in the primary were excluded from our calculations. We looked only at statewide and legislative races.

For purposes of determining a win-loss percentage in the primary election, a candidate advancing to a runoff was considered a win. Because of this, the overall total wins and losses are not the sum of the primary and runoff figures shown. The numbers shown below each percentage wheel are:

  • For the primary, primary wins and runoff advancements – primary losses
  • For the runoff, runoff wins – runoff losses
  • For the overall percentage, primary and runoff wins – primary and runoff losses

The color of the percentage counter indicates if the group endorsed only Republicans (red), only Democrats (blue) or a combination of both (green).

 

Group or PAC

Primary

Runoff

Overall

TEXAS ASSOCIATION OF MANUFACTURERS

Texas Association of Manufacturers

%

24-1

%

2-2

%

24-3

ANNIE’S LIST

Annie's List

%

9-0

%

1-1

%

8-1

TEXAS SOCIETY OF ANESTHESIOLOGISTS

TSA PAC

%

20-2

%

4-1

%

21-3

TEXAS AND SOUTHWESTERN CATTLE RAISERS ASSOCIATION

TSCRA

%

35-3

%

3-2

%

33-5

COMBINED LAW ENFORCEMENT ASSOCIATIONS OF TEXAS

CLEAT

%

34-4

%

4-2

%

35-6

TEXAS FARM BUREAU

AGFUND

%

46-6

%

6-2

%

46-8

TEXAS OIL AND GAS ASSOCIATION

TXOGA

%

31-4

%

4-2

%

33-6

TEXAS ASSOCIATION OF BUILDERS

Texas Association of Builders

%

38-5

%

3-2

%

37-7

TEXAS ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS

Texas Association of Realtors

%

50-6

%

6-4

%

51-10

TEXANS FOR LAWSUIT REFORM

Texans for Lawsuit Reform

%

28-4

%

4-2

%

29-6

TEXAS MUNICIPAL POLICE ASSOCIATION

TMPA

%

35-7

%

4-2

%

36-9

TEXAS ASSOCIATION OF BUSINESS

Texas Association of Business

%

37-7

%

6-3

%

38-10

ASSOCIATED REPUBLICANS OF TEXAS

Associated Republicans of Texas

%

22-3

%

3-3

%

22-6

TEXAS MEDICAL ASSOCIATION

TEXPAC

%

47-10

%

7-3

%

46-13

TEXAS OPHTHALMOLOGICAL ASSOCIATION

EYE-PAC

%

33-7

%

6-3

%

32-10

TEXAS STATE RIFLE ASSOCIATION

TSRA

%

27-5

%

0-3

%

25-8

TEXAS DENTAL ASSOCIATION

Texas Dental Association

%

36-5

%

3-5

%

31-10

TEXAS AFL-CIO COPE

Texas AFL-CIO COPE

%

17-5

%

1-1

%

16-6

TEXAS ALLIANCE FOR LIFE

Texas Alliance for Life

%

34-10

%

5-5

%

35-15

TEXAS AMERICAN FEDERATION OF TEACHERS

Texas AFT

%

31-6

%

1-6

%

27-12

TEXAS PARENT PAC

%

18-5

%

4-5

%

18-10

TEXAS VALUES ACTION

Texas Values Action

%

18-13

%

6-4

%

17-17

CONSERVATIVE REPUBLICANS OF TEXAS

Conservative Republicans of Texas

%

28-20

%

5-6

%

25-26

TEXAS RIGHT TO LIFE

Texas Right to Life

%

25-20

%

5-6

%

21-26

TEXAS HOME SCHOOL COALITION

Texas Home School Coalition

%

22-21

%

6-4

%

20-25

YOUNG CONSERVATIVES OF TEXAS

YCT

%

16-18

%

5-2

%

14-20

EMPOWER TEXANS/TEXANS FOR FISCAL RESPONSIBILITY

Empower Texans

%

19-17

%

5-5

%

15-22

GRASSROOTS AMERICA WE THE PEOPLE

Grassroots America We the People

%

13-18

%

5-5

%

13-23

TEXANS FOR VACCINE CHOICE

Texans for Vaccine Choice

%

15-17

%

2-4

%

11-21

NE TARRANT TEA PARTY

NE Tarrant Tea Party

%

16-24

%

4-5

%

11-29

For the most part, we used official news releases or lists of endorsed candidates on the groups’ official web sites or social media outlets. In some cases, we used campaign finance reports filed by the groups to use their contributions to candidates as proxies for formal endorsements.

If you are the PAC director for any of these PACs and see an error in our listings, or if we have overlooked endorsements made for legislators who were unopposed in the primary, then contact us at info AT txelects.com.

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