A word about Beto, the one-hit wonder
As you may remember, I wrote that Senator Cruz would win by 10 points. He won by 4. So what happened?
The O'Rourke campaign, and lots of dollars that we've never seen in a Senate campaign before, accomplished two things.
First, it recruited a ton of a new voters, specially those who don't usually vote like students. They had staff and offices everywhere. They were on TV and radio appealing for change all over.
Second, they encouraged these new voters to vote Beto and the Democrats. It was made easier by having O'Rourke on top of the ballot.
Let's look at the numbers:
But Cruz wasn’t the only Texas Republican who struggled.
Firebrand Lieutenant Governor Dan Patrick won reelection by only about 5 points, and indicted Attorney General Ken Paxton won by about 3.6 points against a first-time candidate who ran a campaign that got little help from anybody.
The "Beto vote", a big chunk of it straight party, benefited a lot of down-ballot Democrats.
Two weeks ago, Democrats were complaining that Beto was hoarding all of the money. On election day, he clearly gave them a lot of votes.
I'm convinced that this is why Representative Pete Sessions lost by a few points.
Like a lot of Democrats in 2018, his opponent Collin Alred ran on change and lowering health care costs. Alred never said how he would lower costs. He would have probably lost in any other year but all of those "Beto votes" helped him.
So what does it mean? What will happen the next time?
First, President Trump and Senator John Cornyn will be on the top of the ballot.
Second, "straight party" voting will not be allowed in 2020.
Third, the aforementioned Alred will have to defend his record in a different and still competitive district in 2020.
My guess is that Democratic divisions will turn the U.S. House into a circus and all this will look a lot different in a couple of years. I can't wait for Alred to explain what tax increase they are willing to vote for to pay for "lower health care costs".
Did Texas turn blue? Not really. I am betting today that Beto was a "one hit wonder"!