Harris And Fort Bend County Wipeout, Texas Near Death Experience, Nationally Within Off-Year Election Norm
The widely heralded blue wave did not show up nationally in the U.S. in 2018, but it did show up to a small extent in Texas and was overwhelming in Harris and Fort Bend Counties!
So what happened and why? This year we saw in many ways the federalization of the election with well north of $100 million spent causing local campaigns to not be heard. The big ballot encouraged straight ticket voting and the Democrats won it big. They also turned out lots of new voters who mostly voted Democratic.
Incumbent County Judges lost and in Ed Emmett's case a significant libertarian and undervote more than accounts for his margin of defeat to a neophyte candidate. Observers say in both counties a failure to address property tax issues, disaster reappraisal and/or a lackluster campaign spelled doom.
The trends continued in the state where Republicans lost two Congressional and State Senate seats and over ten State House races.
Republican judges were voted out in the Harris and Fort Bend area and we are replacing three hundred years of combined judicial experience with very little. Some Democrats elected will prove to be good, many, given the lack of real experience, will not be good at all which will be to the detriment of those who appear in their courts.
Nationally, Republicans will gain three to five U.S. Senate seats and will lose around 30 House seats, which is average for an off-year election for a party holding the Presidency.
Democrats in Texas owe O'Rourke a thank you for galvanizing the Democratic vote. Democrats nationally owe O'Rourke a thanks for nothing for soaking up Democratic money and not being willing to share it and helped the GOP win a number of close Senate races.
So, where the Democrats won, they now have to govern. Let's see how well Harris and Fort Bend counties work under Democratic control. It will be interesting.