Tuesday, July 14, 2020

Runoff Elections 2020: What 2 Watch 4

"For he who sows to his flesh will of the flesh reap corruption, but he who sows to the Spirit will of the Spirit reap everlasting life."
Galatians 6:8

With runoff elections today, here are some things on which to keep an eye. We don't claim this list is comprehensive. Nevertheless, it's what we'll be watching for.


  • U.S. Senate -- We've been meaning to do a longer writeup on this topic for about six months, but haven't gotten around to it.  Nevertheless, MJ Hegar is, easily and by far, the most compelling Democrat to run for statewide office in at least a decade.  Royce West, by contrast, is a rather middling state senator.

    Cornyn's 100% safe against West. He's probably about 85% safe against Hegar. In the event, however, that Donald Trump and Greg Abbott continue to run the national/statewide environment into the ground, do NOT underestimate her.
  • Travis County County/District Attorney -- While they aren't related, Delia and Jose Garza are running for those respective criminal justice positions on essentially pro-criminal platforms.  Woe unto all of us if either of them wins. Both are favorites.
  • Dutton/Lucio -- Two of the more conservative Democrats in the legislature face unexpected runoffs.  Both seem likely to win comfortably...but we would have said that in the first round.  Major implications for next session if either falls short.


  • Abbott's coattails -- Honestly, this is the only GOP question that matters right now.  Abbott's made a big show out of endorsing in five races.  In two others he's made endorsements that are essentially gimmes.

    Abbott really needs to run the table; if he loses more than one of these races, it's a **MAJOR** embarrassment.
  • HD-60 (Francis/Rogers):  Foremost among races where Greg Abbott has run his mouth is this open seat race for an otherwise obscure state rep seat west of Ft. Worth.  Jon Francis is the consensus conservative candidate.  Abbott recently declared war on Francis' family.

    Ted Cruz, by contrast, has endorsed Francis.

    Abbott really needs his candidate (Glen Rodgers) to clear 60%.
  • Morrow's race: Barring a (richly deserved) act of Divine retribution, the latest season of "Robert Morrow torments the Texas GOP" likely ends tonight.

    Nevertheless, it's been (really, really, really) funny.

    The final margin will still be interesting. Had the GOP handled this situation even remotely competently, Morrow wouldn't clear 10%. If Morrow gets north of 30%, that's an embarrassment for the GOP, no matter how they try to spin it.
Again, this list isn't comprehensive.

[Note: Texas Scorecard has an analysis of both parties Congressional runoffs here.]

Bottom Line: The macro-narratives are "can the Dems seize an opportunity (for once)" vs. "can the GOP avoid utterly, totally, and completely humiliating themselves (all over again)."  We don't pretend to know the answer.  Stay tuned.

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