Wikimedia Commons / Daniel Mayer
Based on voter turnout, the Cook Political Report, a trusted bipartisan barometer of elections outcomes, has shifted its call on the odds of Democrats flipping the Texas House from "lean Republican" to "toss up."
"All year, we had considered the Texas House to be in play, but with an edge to the GOP," Cook's Louis Jacobson wrote in a last-minute analysis posted Monday. "Now, with enormous turnout banked in large-population counties — the types of places where Democrats have been gaining ground in the Lone Star State — we’ve decided to make a last-minute reconsideration."
Republicans currently control all branches of Texas' state government and have commanded a House majority since 2002.
However, as Jacobson notes, a Democratic takeover of the house would go beyond loosening the GOP's grip on the legislative process. The shift would give Dems a seat at the redistricting table after the 2020 Census, offering a counterbalance to Republican gerrymandering.
Assuming Democrats can keep all their seats, including 12 they scooped in the 2018 midterm, they will need to flip nine to cement a majority in the chamber.
The party has focused on six Republican seats as particularly vulnerable this cycle and also targeted another eight, including Republican State Rep. Steve Allison's District 121 seat in Bexar County, which faces a robust challenge from Democrat Celina Montoya.
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