Thomas D. Elias: California's GOP starts to wise up; will Democrats follow?


Texas has always been a conservative bastion, but the much stronger turnout in the primary races to select nominees from their own party shows Democratic voters are highly motivated, threatening Republican control of the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives in midterm elections in November.

During the early-voting period, Democrats turned out at more than twice the rate they did in 2014, dwarfing Republican turnout and helping establish a new state record for early voting in a non-presidential election. That's 20 points more than the 40 percent that went to Democratic candidates.

CNN host Brianna Keilar asked Perez in an interview about the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee's attempt to destroy Democrat Laura Moser's bid for Congress to unseat incumbent Republican Rep. John Culberson in Texas' seventh district near Houston. Following Mr. Abbott's lead, candidates like Senator Ted Cruz have been doing their best to reinforce expectations of a possible Democratic surge in order to get his voters fired up: "We know that the left is going to show up", Mr. Cruz said on Tuesday. Even Attorney General Ken Paxton, who has been indicted on felony securities fraud charges, clinched his party's nomination unopposed.

Since 25 of the 36 House seats from Texas are now held by Republicans, Democrats have more opportunities for gain, but the latest Cook Political Report rating of congressional races shows that only one of those 25 seats - the 7th Congressional District seat now held by Rep. John Culberson (R-TX), is a toss-up.

Angela Paxton defeated Phillip Huffines in this open-seat primary.

Wall's failure was also a potential warning sign of the limits of Republicans going all-in on Trump this election year.

The filings mean 78 Republican incumbents are in line to get Democratic challengers in the fall, more than three times the Democrats' number. Will Hurd in a district stretching hundreds of miles from San Antonio to El Paso. And the increases were most pronounced in urban and suburban areas where the party is hoping to reclaim House seats now held by Republicans. On Tuesday, Congressmember Beto O'Rourke won the Democratic primary for U.S. Senate. So even hard-right candidates most likely won't threaten the GOP hold on most of these seats. Strategists will be watching if she advances to a runoff despite attacks from fellow Democrats.

Democrats are defending 10 Senate seats in key states that Trump carried in the 2016 election, including four that he won by double-digits: Indiana, North Dakota, Missouri and West Virginia.

Texas has been the unmovable red state for years but it seems like that may change.

In the states were Democratic incumbents are most vulnerable, President Trump's approval rating is above 50 percent. Democrats are energized by their opposition to Mr. Trump in Texas, just as they are in other places.

It's primary season for the 2018 midterm elections, and voters in Texas are the first in the nation to head to the ballot box.

Texas Democrats know this, and I suspect they are unlikely to invest major resources here on statewide races that they can not win. Chisolm-Miller won with 1,131 votes to Manning's 292 votes.

Why are runoffs so much later than the primaries?

Across the country, including states and districts that Democrats have written off in prior elections, sustained grass-roots energy is boosting the party's prospects. This is the longest losing streak for either party in any state.