This will be short and bland, as there ain’t many competitive Congressional districts by any metric.
Dist Abbott Abb% Beto Beto% =================================== 28 79,478 46.4% 88,550 51.7% 34 57,793 42.7% 75,741 55.9% 15 81,095 52.4% 71,649 46.3% 23 116,353 54.4% 94,259 44.1% 03 163,075 59.1% 108,840 39.5% 12 143,586 59.9% 92,478 38.6% 22 144,862 59.5% 95,274 39.1% 24 172,837 57.5% 123,159 41.0%
I could do a similar comparison to 2012, but that won’t tell us much. We already know that the swing seat list at that time was the then-Dem held CD23, and that was about it. CD23 flipped red in 2014 and managed to stay there, while CDs 07 and 32 went blue in 2018 and are now a much darker blue, to help make their formerly swingy neighbors more reliably red. This is what redistricting is all about.
Not a whole lot to say here. Republican interest in CD34 is already starting to wane, and I suspect we’re all going to be stuck with Henry Cuellar for the foreseeable future. Whatever one may say about Jessica Cisneros and any future efforts to oust Cuellar in a primary, the narrative that his district is “dark blue”, which wasn’t the case in 2020 or 2022, will hopefully die. I do think a better Dem than Cuellar can hold that district, but anyone who claims that basically any Dem could do so is at best kidding themselves. Let’s please put some more thought into this if we try again next year, that’s all I’m saying.
The best Dem pickup chance, at least on paper, is the seat that redistricting helped take away in CD15. Maybe CD23 becomes interesting again if the Republicans fully indulge in their fury against Rep. Tony Gonzales, or maybe like Cuellar and CD28 there exists room for someone more orthodox to hold the seat. On the one hand, Republican primary voters are not known for making rational, calculated choices. On the other hand, that is still a ten-point margin. You pay your money and you take your chances.
I continue to believe that the best target will end up being CD24 again, but that will likely take a couple of cycles. Maybe CDs 03 and 22 can join it, if we pray hard enough to the Demography Gods. I dunno. I will of course keep an eye on this, and I am somehow still a cockeyed optimist in these matters, but for now my forecast is that the Congressional landscape is boring. I hope to be wrong about that sooner rather than later.