Precinct analysis: 2018 State House

Beto O’Rourke won 76 State House districts. Out of 150. Which is a majority.

Let me say that again so it can fully sink in.


Remember that after the 2016 election, Democrats held 55 State House Districts. They picked up 12 seats last year, thanks in large part to the surge that Beto brought out. But there were nine other districts that Beto carried where the Dem candidate fell short. Let’s start our review of the State Rep districts by looking at those nine.

Dist  18 Dem    Beto    Lupe Collier  Nelson   Olson McAllen
HD26   47.6%   50.5%   43.4%   47.8%   48.9%   48.5%   44.9%
HD64   44.5%   49.8%   43.9%   46.8%   47.4%   46.5%   44.0%
HD66   49.7%   52.5%   44.1%   49.2%   50.4%   48.8%   45.7%
HD67   48.8%   52.3%   44.5%   49.2%   50.4%   48.8%   45.7%
HD108  49.9%   57.2%   46.0%   52.7%   54.2%   51.9%   46.5%
HD112  49.0%   54.4%   47.5%   51.4%   52.5%   51.7%   48.7%
HD121  44.7%   49.7%   42.0%   46.9%   48.4%   47.7%   42.4%
HD134  46.8%   60.3%   50.4%   57.9%   59.1%   57.5%   48.6%
HD138  49.9%   52.7%   46.6%   50.6%   51.5%   51.1%   47.5%

Some heartbreakingly close losses, some races where the Republican winner probably never felt imperiled, and some in between. I don’t expect HD121 (Joe Straus’ former district) to be in play next year, but the shift in HD134 is so dramatic it’s hard to see it as anything but a Democratic district that just needs a good Dem to show up and take it. 2012 candidate Ann Johnson has declared her entry into the race (I am aware of one other person who was looking at it, though I do not know what the status of that person’s intent is now), so we have that taken care of. I won’t be surprised to see other candidates start to pop up for the other districts.

Dist  18 Dem    Beto    Lupe Collier  Nelson   Olson McAllen
HD45   51.6%   55.1%   47.9%   51.8%   52.6%   52.2%   49.3%
HD47   52.4%   54.9%   46.7%   51.7%   52.9%   51.6%   48.4%
HD52   51.7%   55.7%   48.0%   52.0%   53.3%   52.2%   49.3%
HD65   51.2%   54.1%   46.6%   50.8%   51.8%   50.6%   47.6%
HD102  52.9%   58.5%   50.1%   55.5%   56.7%   55.1%   51.3%
HD105  54.7%   58.7%   52.5%   55.5%   56.8%   56.1%   53.7%
HD113  53.5%   55.5%   49.4%   53.1%   53.9%   53.4%   51.4%
HD114  55.6%   57.1%   47.2%   54.1%   55.5%   53.4%   48.4%
HD115  56.8%   58.2%   49.9%   54.8%   56.1%   55.5%   51.2%
HD132  49.3%   51.4%   46.3%   49.5%   50.2%   50.0%   47.6%
HD135  50.8%   52.9%   47.3%   50.8%   51.6%   51.5%   48.8%
HD136  53.4%   58.1%   49.9%   54.2%   55.5%   54.2%   51.3%

These are the 12 seats that Dems flipped. I’m sure Republicans will focus on taking them back, but some will be easier than others. Honestly, barring anything unexpected, I’d make these all lean Dem at worst in 2020. Demography and the Trump factor were big factors in putting these seats in play, and that will be the case next year as well.

Dist  18 Dem    Beto    Lupe Collier  Nelson   Olson McAllen
HD14   43.6%   48.4%   40.9%   45.3%   45.0%   44.5%   41.1%
HD23   41.4%   44.0%   39.6%   42.7%   43.5%   43.3%   41.1%
HD28   45.8%   48.1%   41.8%   45.7%   46.5%   46.4%   43.2%
HD29      NA   47.0%   41.2%   44.9%   45.7%   45.9%   42.9%
HD32      NA   47.0%   38.9%   44.9%   45.2%   45.9%   42.2%
HD43   38.9%   44.1%   37.4%   43.4%   43.3%   43.9%   42.3%
HD54   46.2%   49.0%   43.8%   46.5%   47.0%   46.8%   45.0%
HD84   39.8%   43.1%   37.4%   41.5%   41.2%   39.8%   37.7%
HD85   43.5%   44.7%   39.8%   43.2%   44.1%   44.1%   41.6%
HD89   40.5%   43.5%   37.1%   41.1%   41.7%   40.5%   38.0%
HD92   47.4%   48.3%   41.9%   45.6%   46.5%   45.8%   43.1%
HD93   46.1%   48.2%   42.1%   45.6%   46.3%   45.5%   42.9%
HD94   43.9%   47.9%   41.1%   44.9%   46.0%   45.1%   42.2%
HD96   47.2%   49.5%   43.9%   47.6%   48.1%   47.6%   45.3%
HD97   44.9%   48.6%   41.3%   45.7%   46.5%   45.4%   42.4%
HD106  41.7%   44.2%   37.1%   41.3%   42.0%   41.0%   38.1%
HD122  38.1%   43.4%   36.1%   40.5%   41.9%   41.2%   36.7%
HD126  45.2%   47.8%   42.5%   46.1%   46.7%   46.3%   43.5%
HD129  41.8%   45.2%   39.1%   43.4%   44.3%   44.2%   40.0%
HD133  41.9%   45.0%   36.6%   43.4%   44.2%   42.8%   36.3%

Here are the generally competitive districts, where Dems can look to make further inroads into the Republican majority. Well, mostly – HD23 in Galveston, formerly held by Craig Eiland, and HD43 in South Texas, held by Rep. JM Lozano, are going in the wrong direction. I wouldn’t say that Dems should give up on them, but they should not be a top priority. There are much better opportunities available.

To say the least, HD14 in Brazos County is a big surprise. Hillary Clinton got 38.1% of the vote there in 2016, but Beto came within 1100 votes of carrying it. It needs to be on the board. Rep. Todd Hunter in HD32 hasn’t had an opponent since he flipped the seat in 2010. That needs to change. HD54 is Jimmy Don Aycock’s former district, won by Rep. Brad Buckley last year. It’s been at least a light shade of purple all decade, but it’s non-traditional turf for Dems, who never felt much need to go after Aycock anyway. It’s split between Bell and Lampasas counties, and will need a big win in Bell to overcome the strong R lean of Lampasas. HD84 in Lubbock isn’t really a swing district, but Beto improved enough on Hillary’s performance there (34.8% in 2016) to put it on the horizon. The Dem who won the primary in HD29 wound up dropping out; we obviously can’t have that happen again. All of the HDs in the 90s are in Tarrant County, and they include some of the biggest anti-vaxxers in the House – Stickland (HD92), Krause (HD93), and Zedler (HD96). You want to strike a blow against measles in Texas, work for a strong Democratic performance in Tarrant County next year.

Dist  18 Dem    Beto    Lupe Collier  Nelson   Olson McAllen
HD31  100.0%   54.5%   47.3%   53.6%   54.5%   54.3%   53.7%
HD34   61.1%   54.6%   46.5%   53.5%   53.6%   54.8%   52.2%
HD74  100.0%   55.9%   50.4%   53.9%   54.1%   55.0%   53.3%
HD117  57.4%   58.3%   50.7%   54.3%   56.3%   55.9%   53.4%

These are Dem-held districts, and they represent the best opportunities Republicans have outside of the districts they lost last year to win seats back. HD117 went red in 2014 before being won back in 2016, so at least in low-turnout situations these districts could be in danger. Maybe the 2018 numbers just mean that Greg Abbott with a kazillion dollars can do decently well in traditionally Democratic areas against a weak opponent, but this was the best Dem year in a long time, and if this is how they look in a year like that, you can imagine the possibilities. If nothing else, look for the Republicans to use the 2021 redistricting to try to squeeze Dem incumbents like these four.

Related Posts:

This entry was posted in Election 2018 and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

11 Responses to Precinct analysis: 2018 State House

  1. Christopher Busby says:

    There seems to be two prevailing theories about 2018. While I have seen people on both sides of the aisle cosgin to both theories however the majority tend to line up with their respective party’s theory. For shorthand I am ascribing them by their partisan name.

    Republican Theory- Beto was a once in a lifetime candidate who drew thousands to the polls that would have otherwise stayed home. Without Beto at the top of the ticket dems will have neither the resources nor the enthusiasm to compete in 2020. Most districts will revert to their traditional partisan lean and Trump will win by margins similar to 2016.

    Democratic Theory- Beto helped accelerate existing trends and created a semi-permanent shift in the landscape. In 2020 Democrats will continue to build off those trends with increased voter registration and anti-Trump enthusiasm. Beto may or may not be on the ticket in 2020 but strong Democrats will no longer be shy or underfunded in their attempts to win statewide.

    Of the two theories I believe the data better backs up the Democratic one. Each of the last two cycles has seen a strong shift in the performance of both the top and the bottom of the ticket. If you look at the shift in terms of percentages Wendy Davis lost Texas with 38.9 percent, Clinton lost Texas with 43.2 percent and Beto lost 48.3 percent. Thats roughly 4-5 percent difference each year. Now if a similar shift happens next year we are looking at the best performing dems getting 52-53 percent of the vote. Now an analysis of raw vote total is likely to be more accurate but one thing was clear im 2018- Republicans overperformed democrats in getting what have traditionally been their favorable demographics out. Democrats closed the gap with persuasion of suburban voters and improved urban and non-white turnout but not by a high enough margin to beat the GOP machine. A better turnout game targetting these low proensity demographica could have closed the gap completely in 2018.

    Another 4-5 point shift at the top of the ticket almost guarentees the dems flip the state house, but witthout nominees selected or committed to investing the time and money necessary to flip Texas it’s too early to predict.

  2. Manny says:

    Since Trump, I have made it a point to give some money to as many worth while candidate. We should not expect the candidates to be rich or to rely on big donors, most of us can afford to give a couple of hundred dollars at minimum.

    Since Trump’s election I have given to the following;

    Connor Lamb
    Doug Jones
    Beto O’Rourke
    Gina Ortiz Jones
    Lupe Vasquez
    Lizzie Fletcher
    Elizabeth Warren
    And last but certainly not the least the ACLU

  3. C.L. says:

    @Manny… Unless Beto starts coming up with something better than Hankuna Matata and ‘Up With Peopl’e speeches and begins presenting real world solutions to real world problems, he’s going to flame out pretty early in this process. He’s long on rhetoric and short on substance right now.

    Warren’s going no where – nobody’s going to elect an old, shrill white woman who spends the majority of her time wailing against Wall Street.
    Lupe’s 15 min ship has sailed.
    Lizzie needs to keep a close eye on the folks behind her. At least she’s been out and about lately.

  4. Manny says:

    C.L. how did Trump win?

    What did Obama propose? What promises did he keep? About same percentage as Trump, that is the answer.

    The most qualified person running is Elizabeth Warren and obviously you have not read nor studied what she has proposed nor what she has done.

    People don’t vote for policy, they know or believe all politicians are lying about what they are going to do. There is something else that motivates people.

    But I don’t understand why you hate white women so much C.L. that you even resort to calling them names, “old, shrill white woman”.

    But C.L. opinions are like anal openings everyone is entitled to them.

  5. C.L. says:

    Manny, the stock market has been on tear for 1/2 a decade – farmers in Iowa or Central don’t give a sh** about holding Citi or Wells Fargo’s feet to the fire. That’s the reality. The farmers like their subsidies and the folks with growing 401K’s have no vested interested in bankers going to prison…that’s why very few cases were ever presented post 2008. People just don’t care that the folks Warren rails against are crooks. Hell, even crusty old Joe Biden, who literally has little to no message, and Uber Socialist Ben-n-Jerry Sanders is polling ahead of Warren.

    Trump won because he appealed to the most basic instincts of the population who are watching the America they grew up/with turn into something they don’t like. He mined it to death, threw in some racist cracks, claimed he was going to drain the swamp, and blurted out sh** that the majority felt but weren’t saying. That’s how he won – it wasn’t because he was a brilliant businessman or politician, he won because he exemplified the pent up rage of the old guard. Take a look at what’s happened in the UK. Same sh**, they’re just on a different timetable.

  6. Bill Daniels says:


    Your analysis is spot on. Truly the best description I have seen was the Michael Moore diatribe on why Trump won. The only difference between 2016 and 2020 is going to be some segment of the swing vote population that isn’t too political is going to make a “it’s the economy, stupid,” judgement about their own lives and the lives of the people they know, and say, “hey, we’re actually doing better.” At the very least, people who are NOT pissed off are less likely to go vote against someone.

    All those people stuck flipping burgers who now have good manufacturing jobs? They’d have to at least consider that Trump had something to do with their good fortune.

  7. Manny says:

    What does stock market have to do with anything stated before you brought it up?

    C.L. does not care what Warren says or at least what some media says she says. Why did you call Warren an Old Shrill, White Woman? Why do you hate white women C.L.?

    How does C.L. know what other people care about? You think you care about the same things I do?

    As to Trump and Brexit this is how they are the same;

    “Both are right-wing populist movements that have beaten expectations. Both Trump and Brexit leaders have drawn support from largely white, older, “left-behind” voters unhappy with the political establishment.”

    You have a funny way of counting C.L., Trump did not get the majority of the votes.

    Warren may or not be the nominee, but she is the best qualified. But unlike you I don’t discriminate because she is a woman or because she is white, nor because she is old and has wrinkles to show for it. At least she ain’t orange like the Russian Cheeto you supported.

    As to Beto he may be conveying the message that the majority wants to hear after all this politicization by Trump and the likes of you and Bill. Time will tell.

    Bill, Trump will lose bigly if he is not in jail. Trump is now the establishment.

  8. C.L. says:

    Manny.. NEWSFLASH: The President of the United States isn’t elected by popular vote. Hillary’s downfall was her belief that we all wanted her as President, and that her ascendancy was a foregone conclusion. It weren’t.

    You have no idea who I voted for.

    Who said I hated white women ?

    Unlikely Trump, whose learned how to game the system and us all, is going to prison anytime soon. He can’t be too stupid to succeed as a businessman and a politician be so smart that he engaged in collusion and conspiracy without a paper trail ending in his name. He’s like Chauncey Gardiner, the character in Jerzy Kosinki’s ‘Being There’, just along for the ride.

    I’m more concerned with his stacking the Federal Courts with right-wing judges than I am with him doing just about anything else. His 15 mins will be up soon, but the lifetime bench appointments…

  9. Manny says:

    How did C.L. refer to Elizabeth Warren?


    You think of women by the way they looks, that is not how one is suppose to judge. That C.L. makes you a misogynist, but that is typical of the Trump/Republican cultists. You may or not be one, but your comments have a history of being aligned with them.

  10. Manny says:

    C.L. I suggest you read a little on one of my favorite presidents, Teddy Roosevelt.

    Warren is not just about going after wall street as you claim, but I understand that you must hate smart women.

  11. Manny says:

    I almost forgot I also gave to the Hillary Clinton campaign.

    Just donated a little to the Harris County Democratic Party, a few hours ago.

Comments are closed.