With few surprises in the outcome of last Tuesday’s primary elections, it would be easy to conclude that Democrats can forget about their chances in November to add any sort of blue hue to Texas.
A couple of local races, however, might suggest otherwise. And I believe it is rational to say that events which will determine the outcome of the midterm elections haven’t yet occurred.
The left’s pathological hatred of Donald Trump means there will be no letup in the resolve to significantly damage the duly elected president.
Victories by the myriad of opposing forces pursuing him that would erode his solid base of support could change today’s optimism that Republicans will retain their majorities in both houses of congress.
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What Republicans should hope for is that the faces and voices of Democrats that include Hillary Clinton, Nancy Pelosi, Bernie Sanders, Maxine Waters, Elizabeth Warren, Debbie Wasserman Schultz and Texas’ own Al Green won’t change.
With the so-called “blue wave” that was supposed to sweep the country having capsized, the message from voters says we aren’t interested in higher taxes, open borders, socialism and the impeachment of the president.
Instead, we like the robust economy, lower taxes, return to world prominence, a strengthen military, and resolve to stop illegal immigration that have become hallmarks of the Trump Administration.
But, that’s today. Tomorrow things could change. And, certainly will — to the advantage of one party or the other.
What Democrats may be looking at locally could be something to build upon if things turn in their direction.
The question of who will replace the retiring Joe Barton in Texas’ Sixth Congressional District, is all but settled with Ron Wright’s runoff victory last Tuesday.
However, his margin of victory was much slimmer than most had expected.
That won’t escape the notice of his opponent, Ellis County Democratic activist Jana Lynne Sanchez who is already seeing the possibilities of a bigger turnout of her party’s mainstream voters boosted by her Hispanic supporters.
An even greater opportunity awaits to flip a seat in the Texas Senate. Konni Burton’s Democratic opponent, Beverly Powell, is a viable alternative in a district that has a significant makeup of Democratic voters.
Powell is drawing encouragement from the significant losses of candidates who, like Burton, are backed by the Empower Texans cabal attempting to take control of the Texas Legislature.
Voters across the state seem to be looking beyond the appealing and often meaningless rhetoric of the organization’s heavily funded candidates.
During the Republican primaries this year, Empower Texans sponsored 34 far right-wingers they believed would advance their agenda when the legislature convenes next year.
When the final votes were tallied, 20 of them had lost to Republicans representing the mainstream of conservatism.
A combination of traditional Democratic voters in Burton’s district along with Republicans displeased with her positions on local control and the job creation initiatives of cities and counties could very well tip the scales in Powell’s favor.
None of this speculation will matter unless the relentless and endless assault on Trump succeeds in producing something that harms him in some significant way.
Even that won’t ensure a blue wave unless Democrats move toward the center of the political spectrum and give voters a reason to vote for their candidates.
As things stand at the moment, there’s the very likely result of looking up on Election Night in November and seeing an even bolder shade of red painted across the Lone Star State.
Richard Greene is a former Arlington mayor, who was appointed by President George W. Bush as regional administrator for the Environmental Protection Agency. He lectures at UT Arlington.