Elections 2020

Texas Democrats Have High Hopes to Flip the State House

Democrats need to pick up nine seats to flip the House

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After making gains in the Texas House of Representatives in the 2018 midterms, Democrats are hoping to pick up nine more seats to take the House in November.

The House of the Texas Legislature has been controlled by Republicans since 2003, but Democrats hope this is their year to flip it after they gained 12 seats in two years ago. The Dallas Morning News Austin Bureau Chief Robert Garrett said he thinks it's possible for two reasons.

“One is that the Democrats have recruited widely in enough potentially swing districts, to be able to really produce the numbers they need, which is nine, to flip the House," Garrett said. "And the other reason is that this cycle they have really gotten a lot of money together which is really different from past cycles."

According to NBC 5's media partner The Dallas Morning News, the political action committee Forward Majority will pump more than $6 million into 18 Texas House races, including 10 in the North Texas area. Former Dallas Republican Party chairman Jonathan Neerman said he sees this year going much differently for Democrats.

“The difference between 2020 and 2018 is that in 2018, certainly, President Trump was an issue for all Democrats, but he wasn't on the ticket," Neerman said. "Now you have the president actually on the ballot, and so those Trump voters who may not normally vote in the off years will come out to vote this presidential cycle."

In 2018 Tarrant County swung blue with former El Paso representative Beto O’rourke on the ticket, which likely helped down-ballot races. Tarrant County is a major battleground and its Democratic Party chairwoman Deborah Peoples is confident they will win seats there.

“Now we have to get our voters to go all the way down to the bottom of the ballot to elect great people," Peoples said. "So one of our challenges was to make sure we had great candidates up and down the ballot, and we do."

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