What Should We Make of This News Out of Texas?

This will be a very short post, but I wanted to make a note of it.

Yesterday, there was a runoff for a special election for the 6th congressional district in Texas. Rep. Ronald Wright (R) passed away from COVID in February which prompted the special election.

First off, there was a “jungle primary,” which meant that the top two voter-getters would move on to the runoff regardless of party. Well, the top Democrat only got to 3rd place, so we were shut out of this race, which was a big miss for us.

This past Tuesday, the runoff happened. The candidates were Susan Wright (wife of the deceased congressman and endorsed by Trump himself) vs. Jake Ellzey. They both had endorsements from key Republican politicians/groups, but of course, everyone was watching to see if Trump’s endorsements would continue to sway voters.

First off, turnout was TERRIBLE. Like only 8% (yes you read that right) of registered voters in that district bothered to vote. So Trump’s endorsement didn’t seem to help much in terms of turnout.

Next, Ellzey won 53-47 over Wright. So, Trump’s candidate lost. (And no, he’s not happy about that. His team immediately started to blame the folks that “forced” him to endorse Wright.)

Finally, the polls were wrong. Now, I should preface that by saying that only one group polled this race, but they gave Wright a 10 point advantage in this race. That clearly was a miss.

So, what do we make of this information? Election experts always warn not to put too much stock into a single race, much less a single special election, but we’re human and we’re always looking for signs. It could be that Trump’s endorsement doesn’t hold the power that it once did. It could also mean that with two Republicans running, GOP voters didn’t care, no matter who was endorsed.

Does the low turnout spell doom for Republicans in the midterms? Who knows? It’s Texas, and the state is famous for making it really, really, really hard to vote. (Not just for Democrats.)

In any case, I have no pearls of wisdom about this race, but as I know you all care about election results, I wanted to share these tidbits with you!


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9 replies

  1. Query: Does Texas purge voter roles of voters of voters who have not voted in the two previous elections? If so, this low turnout might affect Republican turnout next year.

    • I’m not entirely sure, and of course, they’re trying to push more restrictions in the special session. But in general yes, election experts think some of these restrictions could hit Republican voters hard, too.

  2. Tokyo, I must urge all Democrats to get out and vote, in person, if you can. That is the best way to defeat people who say your votes do not count. I do not care how overconfident people are, they need to get out and vote. As a reminder, Hillary Clinton’s over-confidence was a reason she lost to a candidate who harmed our country and planet. Keith

    • You know I completely agree with this. I use the hashtag #VoteEveryElection on Twitter regularly. We should have had a Democrat in this runoff.

  3. Hmmmm. I’m betting that Trump’s endorsement failing did have something to do with the low turnout. When you have that small of a percentage of voters participating, it’s hard to read anything into it.

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