Despite the calls that “this year will be different” and prophecies of a “blue wave,” Texas Democrats appear headed toward adding another two years to their current 24-year shutout from statewide office in the Lone Star State.
In a currently-ongoing poll by the New York Times, Sen. Ted Cruz has a 9-point lead over his Democrat opponent, El Paso Congressman Beto O’Rourke.
And historically, Republican candidates in Texas have substantially out-performed these early October predictions.
Polls released this same week in 2016 showed President Donald Trump leading Hillary Clinton in Texas by a mere 4 points. He would go on to win the Lone Star State by 9. And polls around this time in 2014showed Abbott with a 16-point lead over Democrat Wendy Davis, he won in a landslide victory by over 20 percent.
Such figures should serve as a tall, sobering glass of reality for a Texas Democrat party that has gone haywire in recent months over O’Rourke and claimed they would not only seize the US Senate seat but in doing so ride his coattails to win scores of down-ballot races.
Despite those predictions having never been borne out by the facts (and O’Rourke never leading in the polls), national Democrats have poured money into Texas. Indeed, O’Rourke, through frequent trips to California and New York, has raised a staggering $23 million—more than one million in excess of Massachusetts Democrat Elizabeth Warren and more any other Democrat running for the Senate.
But those dollars haven’t turned into votes. Indeed, the more Texans learn about O’Rourke’s liberal stances on gun rights, immigration, and energy policy, the more he has sunk in the polls.
But that’s just the beginning of the bad news for Democrats.
Today the National Republican Congressional Committee announced it was canceling TV ads in Texas’s 23rd Congressional District. That election is considered Democrats’ top target in Texas and almost a must-win if they hope to take the US House of Representatives.
Currently held by Rep. Will Hurd (R–Helotes), the district has flipped back and forth between party hands four times in the past decade.
But it doesn’t appear on track to do so this election. The New York Times’ poll showed Hurd 8 points ahead of Democrat Gina Ortiz Jones. With other polls echoing the findings, Republicans are so confident they will keep the seat that they’re canceling planned expenditures in support of Hurd and sending those dollars elsewhere.
If national Democrats were smart they’d do the same with O’Rourke and redirect those additional dollars where they could actually make a difference like the battleground states of Florida, Ohio, and Wisconsin.
As long as I campaign and/or support Senate and House candidates (within reason), they will win! I LOVE the people, & they certainly seem to like the job I’m doing. If I find the time, in between China, Iran, the Economy and much more, which I must, we will have a giant Red Wave!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 8, 2018
After all, with zero evidence of any blue wave on the horizon, Democrats would do well to prepare themselves for the president’s prediction of a red one instead.