|Texas President: Toss Up
||Texas U.S. Senate: GOP
|Texas House: Dems +10
||Texas Senate: Dems +1
|Congressional: Dems +4
September 9, 2019
GOP Has 50-50 Chance or Less in Handful of Contests
on Texas Congressional Battlefield in the 2020 Election
Texas Legislature & Congress Contest Ratings
Texas House Races to Watch in 2020 Election
By Mike Hailey
An unprecedented exodus of Republicans from the Lone Star State's congressional delegation could be the ultimate harbinger of a Texas transformation from red to blue that Democrats are increasingly confident about getting under way at the polls in 2020.
A growing parade of Texas Republicans to the U.S. House exits is hardly a coincidence in the early stages of an election cycle that would end with Democratic victories in four of the districts that the GOP will be attempting to defend based on the preliminary Capital Inside crystal ball forecast for next year's vote.
With President Donald Trump floundering in popularity polls at a time when the Republicans here have never been more divided, the tentative outlook for 2020 has the Democrats doubling the number of gains they posted on the congressional battlefield here last fall when a pair of veteran GOP lawmakers were ousted in the Houston and Dallas-Fort Worth areas.
The Democrats would pick up a handful of U.S. House seats in Texas if they prevailed in every race that's currently ranked as a toss-up on top of a win in a battle for a seat that the GOP hopes to keep in a contest that's classified as leans Democrat less than 14 months before the ballots are cast.
The Republicans can probably expect to kiss Congressional District 23 goodbye once and for all in light of U.S. Rep. Will Hurd's decision to forego a re-election bid next year in an area where he would have been running as an underdog after barely survived the blue wave of 2018.
The GOP could cut its losses with wins in two of the four U.S. House races that are rated as coin flips in districts that are currently red and contain parts of the Austin, Houston, Dallas and San Antonio areas.
The general consensus among national political prognosticators is that the races for seats that Republican U.S. Reps. Kenny Marchant of Coppell and Pete Olson of Sugar Land are giving up without bids for new terms. Congressional handicappers have followed the lead here, however, by shifting CD 23 to leans Democratic.
But the toss up column here includes battles that U.S. Reps. John Carter of Georgetown and Chip Roy of Austin will be waging as two of the few incumbent Republicans who plan to compete for new terms in districts that the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee is targeting next year. The contests that feature Roy and Carter on the defensive are listed now as leans GOP in the national rankings.
While Republican U.S. Rep. Michael McCaul of Austin is the early favorite in a 2020 re-election race as well, the fight for the seat that he represents in a district that hooks Houston to the Capital City could be on track for coin flip status as well in a state that Democrats have a realistic shot to carry in the presidential election for the first time in almost four dozen years.
A double-digit gain on the U.S. House battlefield in Texas appears highly unlikely but not inconceivable at this point in light of the drain that Trump has been on down-ballot Republicans here in the last two cycles. The Democrats next best opportunity could come in a Houston-area fight that has freshman Republican U.S. Rep. Dan Crenshaw in his first re-election campaign.
Republican U.S. Reps. Van Taylor of Plano, Roger Williams of Austin and Ron Wright of Arlington are seeking new terms in races that are rated as likely GOP but could be in the Democrats' reach if Trump loses in Texas and takes a significant number of lawmakers here down with him.
U.S. Rep. Bill Flores of Bryan became the fifth Republican incumbent to pull the plug on a re-election bid this summer when he announced last week that he wouldn't be a candidate again in Congressional District 17. Flores' impending departure has prompted the listing of the CD 17 race to the likely GOP category after being considered initially as a contest that had little potential to be competitive until now.