Texas on the Potomac lists their Top Ten Texas Races For 2010. I have no quarrel with nine of their choices, but I think this one is wrong:
Dallas County elections
Democrats seized power in the Dallas courthouse four years ago and consolidated that influence two years ago on Barack Obama’s lengthy local coattails. Can Republicans make a comeback? The elections in Big D could be an early warning signal for national Democrats if there is low turnout among Latinos and African Americans.
Certainly, Dallas will be a good county to keep an eye on for an indicator of Democratic base and minority turnout, but I think the idea of a Republican comeback there is more than a bit of a stretch. Look at it this way:
Dallas 2008 Rep votes Rep pct Dem votes Dem pct ====================================== 288,966 41.65 404,880 58.35 Harris 2004 Rep votes Rep pct Dem votes Dem pct ====================================== 535,877 53.32 469,037 46.68
Dallas County in 2008 was much more Democratic than Harris County was Republican in 2004, and everybody considered Harris to be solidly red at that time. That’s a lot of ground for the Dallas GOP to make up, and I doubt that any of the demographic factors that contributed to the 2006 Democratic sweep have reversed since then. Speaking of which, back in 2006 when nobody had Barack Obama on their mind, Dallas County was still more Democratic than Harris County was in 2008. Of the 29 District Court races in Dallas County in 2006 that featured a Republican and a Democrat (a couple of Republican judges that year went unopposed), the Democratic candidate won all 29 and scored above 52% in all but eleven races, with only one Democrat failing to break 51%. In Harris in 2008 as we know, four Democratic candidates for District Court lost, and not a single one topped 52% in the voting. The point I’m trying to make here is that Harris County will be much more interesting to watch, to see if the Dems can continue what they did in 2008 or if the GOP can bounce back. The Dems’ margins then were much smaller, and needed the Obama boost much more. Outside of maybe the District Attorney race, I don’t think there’s likely to be much action at the countywide level in Dallas. If I’m wrong about this, it’ll be a worse year for Democrats and a better year for Republicans than anyone currently thinks it will be.