Texas: October Fundraising and Polling Update

For years, Democrats have talked about a blue Texas, with little to show for it. But that all changed in 2018 when Beto O’Rourke narrowly lost the U.S. Senate race and showed that Texas was finally in play.

The underreported story of that night was what happened in the Texas State House, where Democrats flipped a whopping 12 seats and cut the GOP majority to 83-67. And though Beto lost the statewide race, his result showed the path for how Democrats could flip the State House. Beto won an additional nine House districts that remained in GOP hands, and Democrats only needed to flip nine more seats to flip the chamber.

What we saw in Texas in 2018 – and what we’ve continued to see in 2020 in Texas and states around the country – is the backfiring of GOP gerrymanders. When Republicans drew the lines following the 2010 census, the suburbs were reliably red. But under Trump, we’ve seen a dramatic shift to the left in suburban communities with diverse and college-educated populations.

It’s notoriously difficult to find good, public information to understand the competitive state legislative landscape. EveryDistrict’s map – launched in 2018 – is the only public database to provide a competitiveness ranking for every state legislative district. Polling data is scarce, and public polling data is even scarcer. Fundraising reports are paced unevenly, with many states requiring a public disclosure in the summer and then not again until late in October.

It’s for this reason that EveryDistrict works directly with state legislative candidates because we can see polling data and behind-the-scenes fundraising updates in between those public reporting periods that help us help you invest strategically in state legislative races. But today, we have an exciting update from the Lone Star State: new fundraising reports and detailed State House polling data.

On the fundraising side, the good news is that our candidates are smashing fundraising records. Many of our Texas candidates raised last period more than what many candidates in our other states will raise this cycle in total.

The bad news is that all of this money still isn’t enough to compete with the Texas GOP’s deep pockets. Republicans in Texas know they’re in trouble, and they’re spending big to hold onto their majority. Right now, our candidates still trail their opponents by $3 million. The below table breaks down district-by-district the fundraising totals in our eleven target districts.

We also have public polling data from RA|News that shows that the Texas House can be flipped this year. Incumbents who flipped districts in 2018 are in a strong position to win their re-election campaigns, giving Democrats the opportunity to focus on the nine flip districts they need to win to win the majority. Eight of EveryDistrict’s candidates currently hold a polling lead over their GOP opponent. But in eight of our eleven districts, 9% or more of voters say they’re still undecided.

That large group of undecided voters will determine the outcome of these elections. If those voters stick with the status quo, Democrats will come up short and remain in the minority for another two years, entirely ceding the redistricting process to Republicans.

But over the next less than three weeks, Democratic State House candidates have an opportunity to persuade those voters. You can help make that happen with a donation to EveryDistrict’s Texas slate today. Your donation today will go directly to our Texas candidates to help them make more phone calls, expand their digital ads, and send another mailer, to name just a few examples. With your contribution, our candidates can reach these critical voters over the next three weeks and turn the Texas House blue.