Are Democrats Closing the Gap With Republicans in Texas? It's Not Impossible.

The Democratic Party is no longer on life support in Texas. On Tuesday, it got up off its back.The midterm elections, which produced a surge in voting and a surplus of candidates for Democrats across the state, is solid evidence of a party poised to put up a fight in the next general election.Here's the problem: The wave of liberal and progressive enthusiasm that's washing across urban and suburban communities is unlikely to be big enough to turn Texas blue in November. Case in point: While the Democratic vote doubled to roughly a million from the midterm elections in 2014, the Republican vote rose, too -- and the GOP hauled in about half a million more votes than its rival.Worse still, with so many Democratic primaries headed for runoffs on May 22, that means many of the party's hopefuls -- including the gubernatorial candidates -- will spend the next 11 weeks battling each other rather than taking a dead aim at their GOP targets. In some races where Republican candidates, especially incumbent Gov. Greg Abbott, hold distinctive fundraising advantages, the lingering intraparty jockeying could prove costly if resources are spread too thin.But the bigger question is this: Does the Democratic Party have the star power it needs at the top of the ticket to keep the momentum rolling and give down-ballot candidates the extra boost they will need? "It's going to take work and time and effort to turn it around, but the pendulum has started to swing in the other direction," said former investigative journalist Brett Shipp, a Democratic candidate who finished just out of the runoff in the race to upset Pete Sessions, R-Dallas, in the 32nd Congressional District.  Continue reading...

Copyright The Dallas Morning News
Contact Us