There was a rather important election held this past Saturday in Texas. It was to replace Texas Representative Ron Wright who passed away recently. Leading the charge, as expected was Wright’s widow, Susan, who finished first in the voting. But what was interesting was that another Republican, Jake Ellzey, came in second. In Texas, if you don’t get 50% or more of the vote, there’s a runoff election, and with 23 people on the ballot this time around, that was almost guaranteed. But Democrats, who thought they had a chance in this district fell short by about 400 votes of making the runoff.
A side note…Donald Trump won the district by about 35% in 2020.
What’s interesting is this was the first election after Joe Biden’s inauguration. And it could be very telling. Democrats were hoping that winning in the Texas 6th would show Biden’s strength. That certainly wasn’t the case. If anything, it shows that Texas is still a deeply red state except for El Paso, San Antonio, Austin, Dallas proper, and Houston, as well as the extreme south part of the state. Trump won Texas by 6% during the presidential election, and there is no reason to believe after this vote, which was supposed to at least put a Dem into the top two, that is going to change.
What does all of this mean? Well, it would seem based on a lot of what I call circumstantial data, that Biden’s popularity is being skewed by the media and the polling companies. They say he’s got upwards of 54% popularity in the presidential approval polls, though his ideas are almost universally getting panned by the public. It shows that may not be the case, and Biden may have a tougher time than Democrats thought he would have in 2022 holding on to anything in Congress. We’ll have to wait and see, but this is going to take a six seat Democrat majority down to five.
The interesting thing here is that usually these types of races are harbingers of things to come in the next major election, which would be the 2022 midterms. If (and it is a big “if” at this point) the GOP were to continue to build on the momentum shown here, Democrats could be swamped in 2022. I outlined earlier how just with the Democrats retirement and moving on to different offices, coming from either red or purple districts, the GOP could retake the House. If you add into the equation any sort of excitement from the voting public for the Republican side, it could be an actual tidal wave. It’s certainly too soon to say that, but it’s at least a possibility.
Let me put it this way. I’d much rather be in the position the Republicans are in today than the position the Democrats are in. And if this trend were to continue over the course of the next year, you could see a whitewash. Out of the 218 Democrats in the House, 67 of them are over the age of 70, and 9 of them are over the age of 80. And if I told you the names of the 80-+ folks, you’d be stunned. They are the ones, almost to a fault that are always getting airtime, and ink in the papers. They are the Nancy Pelosi’s Stenny Hoyer’s, Maxine Waters’ of the world. If those folks see a red wave coming, they are the ones that are going to be more likely than not to bail. And those are the Democrats that have been on the Hill the longest!
Carry on world…you’re dismissed!