5 Things You Need to Know About Last Night’s Texas Primaries 5 Things You Need to Know About Last Night’s Texas Primaries – NTK Network

5 Things You Need to Know About Last Night’s Texas Primaries

The early headlines, driven by Democrat turnout in the early vote, did not match the reality of the results from last night’s Texas primaries, up and down the ballot. Here are five critical things you need to know about the results:

By Joe Pounder | 03.07.2018 @8:15am
5 Things You Need to Know About Last Night’s Texas Primaries

The early headlines, driven by Democrat turnout in the early vote, did not match the reality of the results from last night’s Texas primaries, up and down the ballot.

Here are five critical things you need to know about the results:

1) Democrat Energy is Real, But Republicans Did Well Too

According to The Associated Press, Republicans in Texas “set a new benchmark for turnout in a midterm election” with more than 1.5 million people voting in the Texas Senate Republican primary. That beat the record of 1.48 million in 2010. And, Republicans ended the night with “roughly a half-million more votes.” While early voting numbers from the biggest cities generated positive headlines for Democrat momentum, “Republicans still cast more ballots over all thanks to their rural strength.”

As Politico concluded:

But the GOP remained in the driver’s seat in statewide races throughout Texas by night’s end, leaving most of the shocks to down-ballot races.

More concerning for Democrats, the results “likely suggested that much of the Democratic Party’s early vote came from existing primary voters who were excited to participate this year, rather than any enormous tranche of newly activated voters.”

2) 11 Democrat Primaries Go Into the Runoff; Ideological Battle and Liberal Spending to Continue

Many Democrats live to fight one more time before even facing a Republican. In 11 contests, the top two Democrats each failed to get 50 percent, thus forcing the race into a runoff to be decided on May 22. This will lead to millions more being spent in contests that pit competing wings of the Democratic Party against each other. Only six Republican races are going to runoffs.

3) National Democrats Attacked Her, And She Made the Runoff Anyways

In TX-7, the Democrat Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC) came out the biggest loser. Two weeks ago, the DCCC went on the attack against Laura Moser by posting opposition research highlighting such things as her past comments about not wanting to live in Texas. Many framed this as a “conflict between the establishment and its progressive wing” that led “to questions about whether or not the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee should have publicly interfered in the contest.”

The move backfired. With all the precincts reporting, Moser earned the second spot in the runoff anyways with 24.3 percent of the vote, only five points behind the leader. As The Huffington Post writes about the future:

But even if Moser falls short in May, her strong performance on Tuesday demonstrates the strength of the Democratic Party’s energized progressive base and the limits of the DCCC’s power to steer the outcomes of contentious primaries.

4) Chuck Schumer Repudiated

In TX-29, State Senator Sylvia Garcia won the Democrat nomination to replace Rep. Gene Green (D-TX), who is retiring. She ended the night with 63.2 percent of the vote. Garcia won despite Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY)’s endorsement of Tahir Javed, an executive who was self-funding his candidacy.

5) Beto Busts

A lot of the media hype leading into the Texas primaries focused on Rep. Beto O’Rourke (D-TX), who is running against Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX). O’Rourke has proven to be an active campaigner and aggressive fundraiser. However, last night, O’Rourke only won 61.8 percent of the vote, in what has been called an “underwhelming” result.

O’Rourke ended up losing more than a third of vote to two little-known opponents. As Bloomberg reported, “the Democratic Party’s fractures could be seen” in the Senate primary results with “a self-described ‘progressive’ and follower of 2016 presidential candidate Senator Bernie Sanders, recording a healthy share of the party’s vote.”

O’Rourke also failed to produce returns in the rural counties where he had been actively campaigning, and “struggled in the southern areas of the state … which have higher Hispanic populations.”

And with O’Rourke’s weakness in the results Cruz came out swinging according to the Texas Tribune:

For much of the past year, U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz did not acknowledge Beto O’Rourke’s name — or even, for a while, the fact that he had a Democratic opponent for re-election. That abruptly changed Tuesday evening, when Cruz convened several state reporters for a conference call in the final hours before polls closed in the state’s primaries. “Tonight’s election marks the beginning of the general election,” Cruz said. “In November, the voters of Texas will have a clear and stark choice for the United States Senate. Congressman O’Rourke is a left-wing, liberal Democrat — he is running like Bernie Sanders across the state, and the voters of Texas will have a decision of what policies and values reflect their own values.” For the next several minutes, Cruz proceeded to lay out a detailed case against O’Rourke, portraying him as dramatically out of step with most Texans when it comes to at least three issues: guns, immigration, and taxes. Alluding to certain bills O’Rourke had authored, Cruz spoke with the ease of an incumbent who knew his challenger’s record well — and was more than ready to start wielding it.

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