Republicans have created three new dark blue districts in Austin, Dallas, and Houston, realizing they’re near peak gains in a state where growth is driven almost exclusively by non-white residents who tend to favor Democrats.
The Rio Grande Valley, where Trump surged among Latino voters, is the exception to this trend. Democratic Representative Vicente Gonzalez now holds the most competitive seat in the state, and fellow Democratic Representative Henry Cuellar could also be in trouble. The Democrats’ main target will be Representative Tony Gonzales in West Texas, but the GOP has stepped up its odds by making its district slightly more Republican.
New Democratic vote collapses
Texas suburbs have exploded over the past decade, turning long-standing Republican strongholds on the outskirts of major metropolitan areas into hotly contested battlegrounds. GOP cartographers solved the problem by moving Democratic voters away from surrounding Republican-held seats in three major metropolitan areas.
The new 37th district is anchored in Travis County and is one of the most Democratic according to the new map. Current President Joe Biden would have won by nearly 54 points. Representative Lloyd Doggett (D-Texas) – who has seen his district change drastically twice before – might choose to show up here and ditch the new version of his current 35th district, which is a heavily Latino seat.
Democratic Reps Lizzie Fletcher and Colin Allred, who both ousted GOP incumbents in 2018, get the other two new voting wells – their swivel seats are now safe Democratic territory.
Biden would have won Fletcher’s new 7th District by 30 points, and it now includes part of Fort Bend County. Biden reportedly saw a 33-point margin in Allred’s new 32nd-seat district, which still lies largely in Dallas County but is losing its burrow form and now encompasses part of Denton County.
The Rio Grande valley
The biggest surprise of the redistribution of Texas: the restraint of the Republicans in the division of South Texas. Instead of creating a dark red siege, they created a battlefield in the 15th arrondissement of Vicente Gonzalez and a potentially competitive seat in the 28th arrondissement of Cuellar.
Gonzalez District is transforming from a 2-point Biden district to a 3-point Trump district, losing part of its share of Democratic-leaning Hidalgo County. It is now the most competitive seat in Texas. Although he still includes his hometown in McAllen, Gonzalez could run for the open seat in the east, which was vacated by retired rep Filemón Vela. Biden would have won that seat by nearly 16 points.
Cuellar District becomes slightly more Democratic, favoring Biden by 7 points. He faces another main challenge from Jessica Cisneros, who nearly ousted him in 2020. He loses part of Hidalgo County but gains more ground at the north end of his seat, near San Antonio.
The GOP appears to be intending to forgo a certain pickup truck in South Texas in exchange for the possibility of getting two by the end of the decade. Another prompt to proceed with caution: They don’t want to give Democrats a strong case for claiming their card violates voting rights law by depriving Latinos of their candidate of choice.
The GOP has strengthened the suburbs – for now.
According to the old card, seven GOP holders held suburban seats which Trump won by 3 points or less (plus Rep. Beth Van Duyne held a district he lost by 5 points). Trump would have won those eight seats by at least 12 points (in the Van Duyne district) and in most of them by a much higher margin.
This means that GOP representatives Dan Crenshaw, Van Taylor, Troy Nehls, Michael McCaul, Chip Roy, John Carter and Jake Ellzey are expected to stand for re-election for the next election. Democrats could pull out one or two by the end of the decade if Republicans underestimated the growth of the suburbs.
In fact, the only districts Trump brings within 10 points on the new map are owned by Vicente Gonzalez, a Democrat, and Tony Gonzales, a Republican who owns a large district in West Texas that is a battleground. biennial. And even then, Tony Gonzales saw Trump’s margin increase by about 5 points in his district, which allowed him to breathe.
And the GOP added a new red suburban seat, thanks to redistribution. Republican Wesley Hunt will likely run in the new Houston-area district, which Trump has reportedly won by 18 points. He narrowly lost to Fletcher in 2020.
Although Democrats have swept the cards – former Attorney General Eric Holder, who heads the National Democratic Redistricting Committee called it a “blatant partisan takeover” – they are powerless to prevent its enactment by the US legislature. State controlled by the GOP of Texas. They will likely challenge it in court.