Election 2020 Wrap-up: Texas Edition
After an evening marked by anxiety for some, excitement for others, and anticipation for most; Texas remains a Red state and the anticipated shift in the balance of power in the House failed to materialize. Texas Democrats entered November 3rd targeting over a dozen seats across the state to “flip” but were largely unsuccessful in filling vacant seats and unseating vulnerable incumbent Republicans. This leaves Texas with substantially the same Republican majorities in the House and Senate. The one area in which Democrats were able to deliver on anticipated gains, were in local and judicial elections in what have become Blue strongholds surrounded by a sea of Red.
On Saturday, November 7th, with the election results in Pennsylvania indicating that Joe Biden would be the eventual winner of its 20 electoral college votes Joe Biden was declared the presumptive 46th President of the United States. President Donald Trump has responded by rejecting the results and alleging massive voter fraud which his legal team is currently litigating in multiple states. And while the path to Inauguration Day will undoubtedly travel through multiple court challenges, the outcome of the Texas vote is far more clear.
President Donald Trump has been declared the winner of Texas’ 38 electoral college votes. At publication, President Trump is topping Texas polls with 5,865,391 votes, or 52.2%, compared to 5,217,946 votes, or 46.4% for Joe Biden. Democrats had hoped that Texas would move out of the GOP win column for the first time since 1976 when Jimmy Carter carried Texas, but the anticipated "Blue Wave" failed to materialize. Despite this loss, Joe Biden was able to garner a larger percentage of voters than Hillary Clinton received in 2016 with 43.2% of Texan’s votes.
Texas seats in both the U.S. House of Representatives and Senate continue to be dominated by Republicans. Texas Republicans in the U.S. House also held their majority, with 23 of the 36 available Texas seats in this election remaining under GOP control. Despite being targeted for flips by Democrats, U.S. House Districts 2, 3, 6, 10, 21, 25, and 31 were retained by their Republican incumbents. Republican Senator John Cornyn won his race for U.S. Senate seat with 53.7% of votes against Democrat Mary MJ Hegar with 43.7%.
The Texas Legislature remains controlled by Republicans in both the House and Senate, despite late confidence by Democrats and concern among Republicans that Democrats would make substantial gains in the House. House incumbents largely held their seats, with the exception of a few. In House District 134, Republican Sarah Davis lost her seat to Democrat Ann Johnson, and in House District 132 Democrat Gina Calanni lost her seat to Republican Mike Schofield, whom she had unseated in the previous election.
Having failed to "turn Texas blue" for 2020, Texas Democrats remain optimistic about the progress made in gaining votes and in closing the gap in elections that were previously viewed as guaranteed Republican districts. Ed Espinoza, executive director of Progress Texas notes that “with every election, [Democrats are] getting one step closer to that change.” Until then, Texas continues to prove loyal to Republican values and candidates.
As for the Texas Republican Party, an election that would have previously been taken for granted as routine has invigorated the party and excited members about the probability of delaying or preventing the “purpling of Texas.” For his part, Chairman Allen West of the Texas Republican Party tweeted, "We cannot get complacent. If anything, this election has taught us we must always be on the offense."