Correction: We accidentally misspelled President Trump’s name in our wrap-up last night. We have corrected it and regret the error.
House Speaker: Rep. Dade Phelan (R-Beaumont) released a list of 83 members and members-elect – 53 Republicans and 30 Democrats – supporting his bid for Speaker. Rep. Chris Paddie (R-Marshall) withdrew and endorsed Phelan, as did Democratic Speaker candidates Oscar Longoria (D-Mission), Joe Moody (D-El Paso) and Senfronia Thompson (D-Houston).
Rep. Trent Ashby (R-Lufkin) withdrew and endorsed Rep. Geanie Morrison (R-Victoria) shortly after issuing a statement calling for the Republican Caucus to “be afforded the opportunity to discuss … and vote to back a candidate, per the Caucus bylaws.”
Additional Observations About Last Night’s Results
There’s still a lot to unpack from Election night, and we’ll dive into those numbers in the coming weeks. In the meantime, here are some additional observations about the results beyond our thoughts last night.
Record-setter: Justice Jane Bland (R) became the first candidate ever to receive 6M votes in Texas. She broke Justice Eva Guzman’s (R) record of 4.88M, which she set in 2016.
Splitting the new vote. A little over 2.2M more Texans cast a vote for an official presidential candidate in 2020 than in 2016. In addition, nearly 250K fewer Texans voted for a minor party or write-in candidate in 2020 than four years ago. That means 2.45M more voters cast a vote for the Republican or Democratic presidential nominee than in 2016. Biden received 1.31M (53%) of those votes and Trump received 1.15M (47%).
Big/small splits. We projected Biden would need to build up a 1.3-1.5M vote margin in the dozen counties with at least 250K registered voters to have a viable chance at winning the state. He banked just under 900K. Trump, meanwhile, banked 1.55M net votes in the other 242 counties. For Biden, it represented a doubling of the margin Hillary Clinton received in those same counties in 2016, while Trump increased his margin in the remaining counties by 250K.
Election Day turnout fizzled. Just under 1.5M Texans cast votes for official presidential candidates on Election Day, a drop of 888K from 2016. Fewer than 9% of registered voters went to the polls on Election Day. The 11.1M total votes cast for president shattered the previous record of 8.96M set in 2016, but turnout fell well short of the forecast 12.4M. Measured as the percent of registered voters casting ballots for the top office on the ballot, turnout was 65.7% of registered voters.
Ballot drop-off. Anecdotally, we did not see significantly higher drop-off down the ballot because of the elimination of the single-punch, straight-party option. For example, the drop-off in votes cast for candidates vying for Harris Co. Criminal Court No. 16 was 5.3% from the number of votes cast for official presidential candidates. In 2016, the drop-off for that county court race was 3.3%.
©2020 Texas Election Source LLC