As polls opened in the Texas primaries on Tuesday, The Texas Tribune laid out seven key questions for election night. Now that the smoke is clearing, here are the answers:
In short: No.
Before Election Day, a snapshot of the 10 counties in Texas with the highest number of registered voters showed motivated Democrats casting ballots early. But totals in the primaries for U.S. Senate told a different story: More than 1.5 million people voted in the Republican primary, with close to 100 percent reporting, compared to about 1 million Democrats, also with a near 100 percent reporting.
State Reps. Sarah Davis of West University Place and Lyle Larson of San Antonio are one step closer to returning to the Texas House in 2019 — despite Abbott making an extraordinary effort to unseat them. Both Republicans won their primaries Tuesday night but face general election challengers.
But the governor did prevail in one race: Abbott-backed Mayes Middleton unseated state Rep. Wayne Faircloth of Galveston on Tuesday, edging out the incumbent by roughly 15 percentage points.
Abbott went to particular great lengths to unseat Davis, dumping around a quarter million of his own dollars on the race. Davis led Susanna Dokupil by more than 10 percentage points with almost all precincts reporting Tuesday night.
The governor’s 1-for-3 record — and Davis’ explicit shots at Abbott during her victory speech — could color the next legislative session in 2019.
Moser, a journalist and activist, will face attorney Lizzie Pannill Fletcher in the May 22 runoff — which will likely be a brutal intra-party fight and could divide west Houston and the national Democratic Party.
Fletcher on Tuesday led the crowded Democratic field with 30 percent of the vote, and Moser placed second with 24 percent of the vote.
Whoever makes it out of the runoff will face U.S. Rep. John Culberson, R-Houston, in the fall. This race is one of three in Texas where Democrats are expected to target in hopes of gaining a majority in the U.S. House in 2019.
Bush — who kept a low profile during the campaign — raked in nearly 58 percent of the vote with around 93 percent of precincts reporting, avoiding a runoff against his predecessor, Jerry Patterson. Patterson came in second with around 30 percent of the vote, with Davey Edwards and Rick Range coming in third and fourth place, respectively.
Bush, the nephew of President George W. Bush and son of former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, will face Democrat Miguel Suazo in a November general election that’s not expected to be competitive.
Five of the eight open-seat congressional primary races are headed to runoffs — the other three were decided Tuesday night.
Here’s who’s set for a one-on-one matchup in the remaining races:
Paxton beat Huffines on Tuesday by about 10 percentage points in their race for an open state Senate seat.
Lupe Valdez, the former Dallas County sheriff, and Andrew White, son of late Gov. Mark White, will duke it out this spring over who will be on the November ballot against Abbott.
Both Valdez and White have long been considered likely frontrunners for the nomination. The two stayed far ahead of the other seven Democrats who had lined up to challenge Abbott on Tuesday night, with Valdez leading with around 42 percent and White placing second with roughly 28 percent.
Whoever wins the May 22 runoff will face an uphill climb in their efforts to unseat Abbott. He’s the most popular statewide elected official, and he has $41 million in the bank for his re-election bid.
Disclosure: Jerry Patterson has been a financial supporter of The Texas Tribune, a nonprofit, nonpartisan news organization that is funded in part by donations from members, foundations and corporate sponsors. Financial supporters play no role in the Tribune's journalism. Find a complete list of them here.
This article originally appeared in The Texas Tribune at https://www.texastribune.org/2018/03/07/texas-primary-elections-2018/.
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