Diary

The Electoral Map: Texas

For a state this size with 36 Congressional districts, there is very little drama.  In 25% of the districts, 8 Republicans and 1 Democrat are running without an opposite party challenger.  The current delegation favors the GOP 25-11.

Barely approaching the level of competitive, the 15th district slithers from the Mexican border north to San Antonio.  It is currently represented by Democrat Ruben Hinojosa who is retiring.  For the Democrats, it will be Vicente Gonzalez who had to endure a runoff to advance.  Likewise, GOP candidate Tim Westley had to also endure a runoff against Ruben Villarreal.  This is a heavy Hispanic area and one would have to give Gonzalez the leg up here thus keeping the seat in Democratic hands.

The only other race of interest will be in the 23rd, currently held by Republican William Hurd who ousted Democrat Pete Gallego in 2014.  Gallego is back for a rematch.  The 23rd stretches along the Mexican border from the middle of the state to it’s western border with New Mexico.  Hurd barely beat Gallego in 2014.  It is important to note that no incumbent has won reelection in eight years with the district alternating between parties.  Gallego is trying to make this election about Trump, but Hurd has distanced himself from Trump.  If any district in Texas has a chance of changing hands, it is the 23rd.  Given the recent history, this writer is predicting just that.

To be sure, Trump is not performing as well as most past Republican presidential candidates in Texas.  Early polling worries have somewhat abated with the possible exception of perhaps one or two outlying polls.  Considering that Republican candidates win this state by an average of 18.25 points, Trump should win by about 9-11 points.

Thus after this entry, the electoral vote count is 128-126 in favor of Donald Trump.  Since there is no Senate race, the GOP advantage stays at 54-46, while the GOP loses one House seat making the new advantage 243-192.

Tomorrow:  We move north to Illinois.