Crunch time in Texas

The Hill, a newspaper that covers Capitol Hill, provides poll results for the five House races in Texas that have been considered competitive. Recall that redistricting placed seven incumbent Democrats in jeopardy. One retired and one switched parties.
The Hill shows Republicans ahead in four of the five races. Louis Gohmert leads Max Sandlin 48-39; Ted Poe leads Nick Lampson 41-37; Randy Neugebauer leads Charles Stenholm 53-23; and Pete Sessions leads Martin Frost 50-44. The only Democrat who leads is Chet Edwards. He’s ahead of Arlene Wolhgemuth 50-40.
Frost’s is the scalp that Tom DeLay seems most to covet, and his race is probably the most interesting. The poll showing him six points behind included hispanic voters as only four percent of the sample. Hispanics make up 36 percent of the district, but (according to the Sessions campaign) only 14 percent of registered voters. Moreover, their turnout has been extremely low in past elections. If Frost can substantially increase hispanic turnout, he probably has a decent chance.
Nationwide, the Hill says there are 25 competitive House races. Between July and the end of September, the GOP candidates in these districts outspent their Democratic counterparts by a combined total of $31 million to $26 million. And at the end of September, the GOP candidates had $15 million on-hand, compared to $9.5 million for the Dems.
Given all of this, it’s not surprising that the Weekly Standard pundits who offer predictions on what the new House will look like all say that the Republicans will retain clear control, with either essentially the same margin they have now or a bigger one.


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