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Omnibus election report

It’s after midnight, I’ve mostly posted stuff on my long-dormant Twitter account (@kuff), and I will have many, many thoughts in the coming days. For now, a brief recap.

– As you know, neither Beto nor any other Dem won statewide, thus continuing the shutout that began in 1996. However, as of this writing and 6,998 of 7,939 precincts counted, O’Rourke had 3,824,780 votes, good for 47.86% of the total. In 2016, Hillary Clinton collected 3,877,868 votes. It seems very likely that by the time all is said and done, Beto O’Rourke will be the biggest vote-getter in history for a Texas Democrat. He will have built on Hillary Clinton’s total from 2016. That’s pretty goddamn amazing, and if you’re not truly impressed by it you’re not seeing the whole picture. We’re in a different state now.

– Beto may not have won, but boy howdy did he have coattails. Colin Allred won in CD32, and Lizzie Fletcher won in CD07. Will Hurd is hanging on to a shrinking lead in CD23, up by less than 1,200 votes with about 14% of the precincts yet to report. He was leading by 6,000 votes in early voting, and it may still be possible for Gina Ortiz Jones to catch him. Todd Litton (45.30% in CD02), Lorie Burch (44.21% in CD03), Jana Lynne Sanchez (45.25% in CD06), Mike Siegel (46.71% in CD10), Joseph Kopser (47.26% in CD21), Sri Kulkarni (46.38% in CD22), Jan McDowell (46.91% in CD24), Julie Oliver (44.43% in CD25), and MJ Hegar (47.54% in CD31) all came within ten points.

– Those coattails extended further down the ballot. Dems picked up two State Senate seats, as Beverly Powell defeated Konni Burton in SD10 (Wendy Davis’ old seat) and Nathan Johnson trounced Don Huffines in SD16. Rita Lucido was at 46.69% in SD17, but she wasn’t the next-closest competitor – Mark Phariss came within three points of defeating Angela Paxton in SD08, a race that wasn’t really on the radar. Oh, and in an even less-visible race Gwenn Burud scored 45.45% in SD09, while Meg Walsh got to 41.60% against Sen. Charles Schwertner in SD05 (he was just over 55% in that race). We could make things very, very interesting in 2022.

– And down in the State House, Dems have picked up 11 seats:

HD45, Erin Zwiener
HD47, Vikki Goodwin
HD52, James Talarico
HD65, Michelle Beckley
HD102, Ana-Marie Ramos
HD105, Terry Meza
HD113, Rhetta Bowers
HD114, John Turner
HD115, Julie Johnson
HD135, Jon Rosenthal
HD136, John Bucy

Note that of those seven wins, a total of four came from Denton, Hays, and Williamson Counties. The Dems have officially gained a foothold in the suburbs. They also lost some heartbreakingly close races in the House – I’ll save that for tomorrow – and now hold 12 of 14 seats in Dallas County after starting the decade with only six seats. This is the risk of doing too precise a gerrymander – the Republicans there had no room for error in a strong Democratic year.

– Here in Harris County, it was another sweep, as Dems won all the judicial races and in the end all the countywide races. Ed Emmett lost by a point after leading most of the evening, while the other Republicans lost by wide margins. Also late in the evening, Adrian Garcia squeaked ahead of Commissioner Jack Morman in Precinct 2, leading by a 112,356 to 111,226 score. Seems fitting that Morman would lose a close race in a wave year, as that was how he won in the first place. That means Dems now have a 3-2 majority on Commissioners Court. Did I say we now live in a different state? We now live in a very different county.

– With 999 of 1,013 precincts in, Harris County turnout was 1,194,379, with about 346K votes happening on Election Day. That puts turnout above what we had in 2008 (in terms of total votes, not percentage of registered voters) but a hair behind 2012. It also means that about 71% of the vote was cast early, a bit less than in 2016.

– Oh, and the Dems swept Fort Bend, too, winning District Attorney, County Judge, District Clerk, all contests judicial races, and County Commissioner in Precinct 4. Maybe someone can explain to me now why they didn’t run candidates for County Clerk and County Treasurer, but whatever.

– Possibly the biggest bloodbath of the night was in the Courts of Appeals, where the Dems won every single contested race in the 1st, 3rd, 4th, 5th, 13th, and 14th Courts. I count 16 incumbent Republican judges losing, with several more open Republican-held seats flipping. That is utterly amazing, and will have an impact far greater than we can imagine right now.

– Last but not least, both Houston propositions passed. Expect there to be a lawsuit over Prop B.

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13 Comments

  1. Bill Daniels says:

    Congratulations, Dems. You curb stomped the President in the House. My only consolation is, based on the two years of obstruction and inaction from Jeff Sessions and Wray, it would appear that no matter what the House committees do, it will STILL all be just for show. Finally, having a do nothing DoJ pays off.

    Meanwhile, in the Senate, the judicial appointments will keep stacking up, and it’s a race against the Grim Reaper for RBG. She’s clearly not well, and I suspect her law clerks are actually writing her opinions for her at this point.

    You also put the final nail in Harris and Fort Bend counties, as predicted, so congratulations on that as well, and for the CoH folks, congrats, you got your firefighter pay raises. Enjoy the layoffs that are sure to follow.

  2. Bill Daniels says:

    One other observation this morning is, I notice the lack of rioting in the streets after the big Democratic win last night. Conservatives aren’t out marching and rioting in the streets. We got beat, we’re going to work, just like we would have if we had won.

  3. Manny Barrera says:

    I don’t recall the Democrats rioting after Trump won, but I do recall the tea partiers coming very close to rioting when Obama won.

    Always negative, Bill ,and spreading lies, will that ever cease?

    Bill, the Supreme really does not matter that much, two things that it can effect that is Roe v Wade and Gay marriages and equal rights for them. Most litigation is state.

    Did you notice that Democrats won SEVEN governorships, including Wisconsin (that would be Scot Walker). They did keep Ohio but that Kasich country and he may be running as a third party candidate against Trump.

    I understand the spin factor, but there is very little positive for the Republicans. I see a very gloomy picture for the party. Within 8-12 years it will become a third party incapable of winning no national elections. Mark that down Bill, and come back and gloat or disappear when it occurs.

  4. Manny Barrera says:

    Bill he who controls the money, really is the master of the House.

  5. Bill Daniels says:

    Manny,

    Have you forgotten Disrupt J-20? Pussy hat marches? Antifa riots?

    I give you that some of the protesting in the streets was peaceful, like the women’s marches all over. I am just saying that you won’t see all of that happening now on the Trump side.

    We got beat. That’s it. Try again in 2020.

  6. C.L. says:

    Manny, didn’t you predict Beto to handily win his race ?

  7. blank says:

    My three quick observations from the Metroplex:

    Dallas County essentially turned into Austin. The weaker Democrats won by 20, and the stronger Democrats won by 30. Beto has his second highest net vote there.

    Beto won Tarrant County by a whisker. He is the only Democrat to win Tarrant County since I moved here 15+ years ago. While it’s only a moral victory, since he lost statewide, it’s still something to admire, study, and try to emulate in future countywide elections.

    Along those same lines Tarrant County, Democrats flipped a County Commissioner seat and a Justice of Peace precinct in the southeast. East Arlington has been blue for awhile, but now it along with enough moderates in other areas, are enough to carry larger areas of Arlington and Southeast Tarrant County. This has been in the works for awhile, but it finally happened last night.

  8. Manny Barrera says:

    No C.L., in fact he did exactly what I thought, he brought out many more voters and turned Harris County Blue. You can go check what I have written, but certainly one does not encourage people to support someone by saying, support him or her, but she will lose.

    If we had a better candidate for Governor Beto may have won, but he will be back. Next time he will win, no ifs or buts.

    He, also, gave the Democrats, if they know how to use it a very good road map where they need to work to make Texas Blue.

    What I did predict was that the Democrats would take 40 sits in the House, you can find that.

  9. Bill Daniels says:

    C.L.:

    Manny specifically would not bet me straight up on the Senate race. He knew. Now, having said that, if he had countered with a bet with a point spread, I would have lost, bigly, but he’s right….you don’t foster excitement in a candidate by beating the spread, you do it by straight up winning.

  10. Mainstream says:

    Random comments: in Commissioner Radack’s precinct, a Republican for county school board only won with 50.42% of the vote. In a Presidential year, that commissioner’s seat could be at risk for the GOP. Rep. Bohac is up by a slim margin, and I don’t expect provisional ballots to shift the result, but I am not certain we have a final answer there. The three state rep districts which flipped or came close to flipping were the lowest hanging fruit among Republican-held districts in Harris County, along with Sarah Davis’ district, which is sui generis. Here are those districts rated by an obscure 2016 result for state court of criminal appeals, reflecting their general partisan tendencies:

    Dist D% R% incumbent

    130 24.5 71.7 Tom Oliverson
    128 27.3 68.8 Briscoe Cain
    127 31.4 64.6 Dan Huberty
    133 32.1 64.1 Jim Murphy
    150 33 62.9 Valerie Swanson
    129 35.2 59.9 Dennis Paul
    126 38.8 56.9 Sam Harless
    132 42 53.5 Michael Schofield
    138 42.2 53 Dwayne Bohac
    134 42.8 52.7 Sarah Davis
    135 43 52.7 Gary Elkins
    144 55.5 39 Mary Ann Perez
    148 55.5 37.7 Jessica Farrar
    149 60.4 35.5 Hubert Vo
    137 62.5 32.5 Gene Wu
    145 61.5 31.5 Carol Alvarado
    143 68.1 26.5 Ana Hernandez
    139 73.3 23 Jarvis Johnson
    140 71.7 22.6 Armando Walle
    142 74.3 22.3 Harold Dutton
    147 73.7 20.8 Garnet Coleman
    146 75.8 20.5 Shawn Nicole Thierry
    131 82.1 14.6 Alma Allen
    141 84.4 12.5 Senfronia Thompson

  11. C.L. says:

    I’m just glad Emmett and his ‘Boner-for-the-Astrodome’ is gone.

  12. Manny Barrera says:

    C.L. unfortunately he made sure it would remain by having it designated a historical building. It ain’t no Machu Picchu.

  13. C. L. says:

    @Manny I can only hope Lina Hidalgo pulls the rug out from under the HLS&R and does something for the PUBLIC good with the structure. Shoot, if I as a HC taxpayer own the damn thing, why am I renting it out as a parking garage ? Hofheinz must be rolling over in his grave…

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