Today we continue our exploration of districts that may be in play in the general election by looking at the contribution totals of the candidates as of their July semiannual (state) and July quarterly (federal) campaign finance reports.
Since 2004, 62 Texas legislative and congressional seats have flipped from one major party to the other during the general election under circumstances analogous to this year’s general election. In this analysis, we are excluding seats that flipped purely because of redistricting, seats that were not seriously contested by both major parties or flips delivered by an incumbent’s switch to the other party.*
Challengers took down incumbents for 53 of these flips (85%). The other nine were open-seat races (15%). For purposes of this analysis, we consider the candidate of the party not holding the seat to be a “challenger.”
Money matters in close races for flippable seats. Just four challengers raising less than 44% the amount raised by the incumbent or nominee of the party holding the seat have managed to flip seats since 2004.
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