Even though I don’t think that a Democratic majority in the Texas Senate is reasonable to expect in the near future, there are certainly some individual seats worth looking at. On issues like private school vouchers, where genuine divisions persist in the Republican caucus, switching just a couple of votes can make a big difference for the future of the state.

Using my little composite score (averaging the 2016 Presidential & Statewide margins), only 3 Republican-held districts stand out as possible targets:

Perhaps fortuitously, SD 16 (Huffines), SD 10 (Burton), and SD 17 (Huffman) are all up for election in 2018, as the Democratic Party is enjoying a glut of candidates for office. All three of these jurisdictions have some familiar characteristics for a swing-district fetishist: affluent(-ish) suburbs of Dallas and Houston where Donald Trump drastically under-performed the statewide Republican ticket. Senator Huffines especially seemed unfazed by Trump’s meager 2.8% margin of victory in his district, spending the recently-concluded legislative session stamping out local firearm regulations and trying to designate the cannon (BOOM!) as the official gun of Texas.

These will be tough races. Good luck will have to be accompanied by hard work and persuasion. Huffines ran unopposed in the 2014 general election, but Burton’s margin of victory was a healthy 14,600 votes. Nonetheless, with a big wave election being a distinct possibility in 2018, it would be political malpractice for Democrats to leave any of these races without decent challengers.

 

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