For political junkies Red State has a fascinating report on the special election that was just held to fill the vacant TX-6 US House seat--a basically suburban district pretty much south of Dallas/Fort Worth. Before we get to the Red State article, here's some demographic info from Wikipedia's TX-6 page. First a demographic profile:
Next, recent presidential election results--21st century:
|2000||President||Bush 66 – 34%|
|2004||President||Bush 66 – 34%|
|2008||President||McCain 57 – 42%|
|2012||President||Romney 58 – 41%|
|2016||President||Trump 54 – 42%|
|2020||President||Trump 51 – 48%|
Pay attention to that last line item, because it's important for what we're going to see--in 2020 this was only a Trump +3 district (nope, I'm not going there--don't need to for this).
Here's the Red State article. The title might seem counter intuitive, given that this is a pretty solid Red district:
You didn’t hear much about it, but Texas‘ 6th Congressional District held a special election last night to fill recently passed Rep. Ron Wright’s seat. The two winners, Susan Wright and Jake Ellzey, will now go head to head in a runoff.
But what really makes this a gut punch for Democrats is that both of the above names are Republicans. It was a complete lockout in a district that Democrats had not only hoped to compete in, but also flip blue. Nancy Pelosi can’t be pleased.
With 100% of precincts in #TX06 according to
Wright (R) - 19.2%
Ellzey (R) - 13.9%
Sanchez (D) - 13.4%
Harrison (R) - 10.8%
Lassiter (D) - 8.9%
There are several things to note here. This was only a Trump +3 district in 2020, and it’s exactly the kind of suburban district that Democrats have been very bullish on making further gains in. Despite that, the Republicans not only took back ground but took back the entire battlefield, perhaps signaling a return to normal voting patterns in some of these places that were previously trending blue.
The Illinoisan ￼￼
The scope of the GOP overperformance in TX-6 tonight is roughly what Mark Moores would need to flip NM-1. The base energy right now is incredible.
Unlike in the past, the media are going to downplay this. When it’s a Democrat winning a toss-up race in a special election, that’s spread far and wide as proof of a coming blue wave. When it’s a Republican, it’s just too soon to tell. We all know how it goes, but this win does matter, regardless of how it’s spun. The GOP needed to show it could make inroads into the suburban districts that left the party from 2018-2020. This was a good data point.
Another reason why wins like this matter is that it helps the GOP gauge where they'll need to allocate their money in Election 2022, and that knowledge may help free up funds to compete in closer districts. Gut punch.