Five Texas Takeaways from Election Night

After a bitter and expensive showdown, Wendy Davis held onto her seat in the State Senate.
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Now that our election night hangovers have been slept off, we can now cut through the chatter and attempt to forecast what last night's election results mean to you, Dear Reader.

Dallas County is really, really blue
Republicans had a strong showing in local legislative races, easily fending off challenges to their state and U.S. House seats, but county government was a different story. Democrats swept Dallas County, winning contested races for sheriff, tax assessor-collector, criminal and civil judgeships, and seats on the commissioners court.

None of that's particularly surprising, given the county's leftward tilt and the way outgoing commissioner Maurine Dickey's District 1 was redrawn, but it does give Dems a 4-1 advantage on a commissioners court that is often divided along party lines.

This concerns the Morning News, which bemoans the loss of "balanced government," but let's be honest. Theresa Daniel, the DISD administrator who won the seat Dickey is vacating, is by all indications a highly competent technocrat. And soon-to-be-indicted John Wiley Price was up against a guy nicknamed "Lingy." Given the circumstances, it's hard to get too exercised about the results.

The earth is 6,000 years old
Or is it? After being upset in her reelection bid two years ago, Geraldine "Tincy" Miller rolled former DISD board member Lois Parrott to return to the State Board of Education. She is joined on the board by 10 fellow Republicans, at least six of whom have professed support for teaching the "weaknesses" of evolution and displaying the Ten Commandments in public schools. That leaves a majority of the 15-member board in the opposite camp, which would be heartening if the margin weren't so slight. These are the people, after all, who will be selecting new biology textbooks in 2013.

Ted Cruz is unstoppable
For months, even before he out-demagogued Lieutenant Governor David Dewhurst in the Republican Senate primary, it's been obligatory to include the phrase "Tea Party darling" when discussing Ted Cruz. Now, thanks to 4,456,599 Texans like this guy ...

... we'll spend the next six years referring to the silver-tongued former solicitor general as Senator Tea Party Darling Ted Cruz.

Heavy-handed attacks are not always a good prescription for winning
Last night, a sleazebag lawyer who takes bribes from lobbyists poorly concealed behind potted plants dragged through the mud a saintly pediatrician whose only goal in life is to save the lives of children to win a state Senate seat. Or was it that a heroic single mother who worked her way from a trailer park to Harvard law beat back a challenge from an leering predator who wants women raped and kids robbed of a chance at a decent education?

However you frame it, Democrat Wendy Davis held on to her state senate seat in Fort Worth, narrowly defeating Republican challenger Mark Shelton in the state's pettiest, most expensive race for the state legislature. Hers was part of a strong showing statewide by Democrats, who picked up seven seats in the state House.

Lest you think that means demographics and voting patterns have shifted leftward faster than was projected, consider briefly the House's projected makeup, with 95 Republicans and 55 Democrats. That's a long way from purple.

R.I.P. America
Obama won, which means a lot of things. We'll leave it to The Nuge to explain what they are.

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When I was a child, I mispronounced his name as Ted "Nougat" because of the delicious soft sugary stuff at the middle of my favorite, the Zero bar.  Still my favorite and maybe I was onto something.


Can someone explain how Eddie Bernice Johnson, an embezzler, and John Wiley Price, recently indicted, keep getting re-elected?  Do their constituents not care or do they have some one vote for them?


Some more lessons (OK, maybe "lesson" is a strong word; stuff I noticed):


Out of 700K+ ballots cast, almost 500K of them were straight ticket.  That's lower turnout than '08 and a narrower straight ticket advantage for Democrats by about 10%.  But we now have what I think may be an all-time high percentage of straight ticket voters - almost 69%.  I don't mean to offend, but I can't view that as anything other than unhealthy.  Say you pulled the D lever: OK, you voted for the President and Paul Sadler - very easy choices to explain.  You also voted for Tonya Holt.  You may well have meant to, but I believe the burden is on you to explain yourself.  You might have even voted for JWP.  Feel free to explain that.  And you R-lever folks, you may have even more explaining to do.  You voted for Romney and Nathan Hecht, but you also voted for Keller and Launius.  Defend yourselves if you can.


Maybe I do mean to offend.  I'm offended, and I need company.

Myrna.Minkoff-Katz topcommenter

Most Americans want to move forward.  The republicans, as they continue their march in the opposite direction, will become irrelevant unless they eschew the right wing agenda of turning the clock back.


@Myrna.Minkoff-Katz If the demographic argument held any water, you would have seen some indication in the state house seats beyond the very tiny drop for GOP there. Even with existing demos, expected bigger return to normal from abnormal election that was 2010. The natural result would seem to drive results closer to 2008. All these added non-GOP demos should increase that direction. Instead it looks like the GOP established a new baseline, though lower than super majority - a very unusual state, to very much higher than 2008 level. 2014 will likely have same conditions as 2010. The real demographic than you can rely upon is that people get older and generally make more money. Those excited young people quickly become the middle aged voters of various races that this outlet claims are angry. The population median age is increasing fairly substantially. It would seem to be as important as the oft claimed Hispanic vote that never seems to actually make it to the polls. Otherwise why is Dr. Garcia complaining that her proposed council district is ONLY 75% Hispanic.


 @everlastingphelps And the locals bitch about no development in South Dally yet they keep electing the same hands that keep them down


 @MikeWestEast You forget the Republicans just got through drawing their own fresh, new boundaries last year. Given that, even holding even would have signaled a decline for them.


And you think they're blameless?

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