The Fix: Texas

How John Cornyn has avoided a tough primary challenge

How John Cornyn has avoided a tough primary challenge

Sen. John Cornyn (R-Tex.) kicked off his reelection campaign Friday with only token opposition standing between him and a third term.

With only about three weeks left to file for the Senate race, no marquee conservatives have stepped up to challenge the Senate’s second-ranking Republican, and none are expected to, despite tea party activists’ efforts to recruit a formidable candidate to run to his right.

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Everything you need to know about the Texas abortion law battle

Everything you need to know about the Texas abortion law battle

The fight over abortion laws moved back into the national spotlight on Monday when a federal judge blocked key parts of a controversial antiabortion law in Texas.

Wondering what the law says, what was blocked and what it means going forward? You’ve come to the right place. Below we give you everything you need to know.

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Wendy Davis faces very long odds in the Texas governor's race. Here's why.

Wendy Davis faces very long odds in the Texas governor's race. Here's why.

It's official. Wendy Davis has announced her candidacy for governor of Texas, giving Democrats a well-known candidate with a proven ability to raise money for a race that has attracted the attention of observers well beyond the borders of the Lone Star State.

So the question must be raised: How much of a chance does Davis have to accomplish what no Democrat has since 1990? In short, a very slim one.

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Why Wendy Davis shouldn't run for governor of Texas

Why Wendy Davis shouldn't run for governor of Texas

On Tuesday, we presented the argument for why Texas state Sen. Wendy Davis (D) should run for governor.

Now, it's time to do the opposite.

As Davis considers whether to run for governor or for reelection to the state Senate (the only two possibilities, according to Davis), here are four reasons why the former option wouldn't be smart.

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Why Wendy Davis should run for governor of Texas

Why Wendy Davis should run for governor of Texas

Texas state Sen. Wendy Davis (D) has narrowed her plans for the next election down to two choices.

"I can say with absolute certainty that I will run for one of two offices, either my state Senate seat or the governor," Davis said Monday at an appearance in Washington.

There's a case to be made that Davis, who became a national figure after a marathon filibuster of abortion legislation, should take the plunge and run for the state's top job. There's also a strong argument that she should stay put, for the sake of her political future.

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The Justice Department's voting rights gambit, and what it means

The Justice Department's voting rights gambit, and what it means

The Justice Department on Thursday announced that it is fighting back after the Supreme Court effectively invalidated part of the Voting Rights Act.

In its first step, Justice signaled that it would support a lawsuit against Texas's GOP-drawn redistricting plan and seek to get a federal judge to require the state to continue to obtain pre-clearance for any electoral changes -- as it did before part of the VRA was struck down. Justice is also expect to sue to stop Texas's new Voter ID law.

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David Dewhurst: A lesson in political peaks and valleys

David Dewhurst: A lesson in political peaks and valleys

There is an interesting political story unfolding right now in Texas. And it's not about Gov. Rick Perry (R) or state Sen. Wendy Davis (D).

We're talking about Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst (R). Once a promising prospect for higher office, Dewhurst is now in a primary fight to keep his job against a trio of Republicans who have taken aim at his handling of a legislative debate over abortion that has captured national attention.

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What's in Rick Perry's future? The smart money says he doesn't run for another term.

What's in Rick Perry's future? The smart money says he doesn't run for another term.

3:27 p.m. update: Perry announced Monday afternoon that he will not seek reelection, saying, "The time has come to pass on the mantle of leadership." As for what's next, Perry said: "Any future considerations I will announce in due time, and I will arrive at that decision appropriately."

It's decision day for Texas Gov. Rick Perry (R).

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The Texas abortion battle could be just what Rick Perry needs

The Texas abortion battle could be just what Rick Perry needs

Rick Perry might well owe Wendy Davis a thank you card one day.

The pitched battle over abortion law in Texas has thrust the longtime Republican governor back into the center of the political universe with social conservatives squarely in his corner. All in all, it's not a bad place for him to be right now.

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Texas special session kicks off amid thousands of protesters

EARLIER ON THE FIX:

The nastiest Senate race in the country just started

What makes Ohio's new abortion law unique

Gay marriage fight will cost tens of millions

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Why round two of the Texas abortion fight won't end like round one

Why round two of the Texas abortion fight won't end like round one

Welcome to day one of Texas's special legislative session, in which a heated debate over abortion that burst onto the national radar last week will pick up where it left off.

But this time, the story is likely to end differently. Equipped with more time, GOP majorities and renewed urgency, Republicans are poised to pass a measure to tighten abortion restrictions that state Sen. Wendy Davis (D) successfully blocked last week, catapulting onto the national radar.

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What is in Wendy Davis's political future?

What is in Wendy Davis's political future?

Wendy Davis just became the most interesting politician in Texas.

A marathon filibuster over a GOP-backed plan to tighten abortion laws Tuesday brought her statewide and even national attention. Which raises the question: Might she run for higher office some day?

Even before Tuesday's historic filibuster, Davis was already being talked about as a potential candidate for higher office. But the Texas's strong conservative tilt suggests she would face long odds in a statewide race.

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Julian Castro’s next step, and why it might have to wait

Julian Castro’s next step, and why it might have to wait

San Antonio Mayor Julian Castro was plucked from relative obscurity to deliver the keynote address at this week’s Democratic National Convention.

After his speech Tuesday, though, plenty of people are buzzing about the 37-year old, who was introduced by his also-fast-rising twin brother Joaquin.

Julian Castro is making the rounds Wednesday, with morning appearances on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” and CNN. He is also appearing at a Texas delegation event and will participate in panels hosted by Univision/National Journal/ABC News at 12:30 p.m. and Huffington Post/NBC News at 1:30 p.m.

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Rick Perry loses. Again.

One year ago, Texas Gov. Rick Perry was a world-beater in the world of Republican politics, having come off a big primary win over an incumbent senator in 2010 and inching toward what seemed to be a perfectly laid-out path to victory in the GOP presidential race.

Today, Perry’s political capital in his own state is being called into question.
In this June 7, 2012, file photo, Texas Gov. Rick Perry speaks during the Texas Republican Convention in Fort Worth, Texas. (AP Photo/LM Otero, File)

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Ted Cruz and the GOP’s changing face

Ted Cruz’s come-from-behind victory in the Texas GOP Senate runoff on Tuesday — and the near-certainty that he will cruise to a general election win in November — ensures he will immediately join a rapidly growing group of rising national Republican stars that have one big thing in common: None of them are white.

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What a Ted Cruz victory would mean

Eighteen months ago, Ted Cruz was a starry-eyed Texas Republican with long-shot hopes of becoming a United States senator. On Tuesday, the former state solicitor general looks headed to an unlikely runoff victory over Lt. Governor David Dewhurst, win that would defy the power of the state’s GOP establishment.


After speaking in support of Ted Cruz, Sarah Palin signed autographs and spoke to some of the 1,000 Ted Cruz supporters during a rally for Cruz, Friday, July 27, 2012 in The Woodlands, Texas. (AP Photo/Houston Chronicle, Johnny Hanson)
A Cruz win would not only be a major rebuke of the well-known (and VERY well financed) Dewhurst, but it would also arguably be the most significant statewide upset of the 2012 cycle to date. (Yes, we’re talking about the same cycle in which a sitting senator was dislodged in Indiana and a little-known state legislator won the GOP Senate nomination in Nebraska.)

There are three key reasons for this.

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Dewhurst and Cruz headed for runoff in Texas Senate race

Updated at 7:58 a.m.

The Texas Republican Senate primary is headed for a runoff, after Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst fell shy of 50 percent of the vote Tuesday.

Dewhurst will face former state solicitor general Ted Cruz, a favorite of the tea party, in the July 31 runoff. The winner of that runoff will be a heavy favorite to succeed retiring Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison (R-Texas), after Democrats failed to land a top-tier recruit.

With 57 percent of precincts reporting, Dewhurst led Cruz 46 percent to 33 percent. Seven other candidates split the vote enough, though, to push the two into a runoff, according to AP.

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Texas primary: Does Ted Cruz have a shot?

Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst is very likely to be the clear first-place finisher in tonight’s GOP Senate primary in Texas.

But if Dewhurst fails to get 50 percent of the vote and the race goes to a runoff, it’s a (mostly) new ballgame.
U.S. Senate candidate Ted Cruz greets supporters at The Tea Party Express rally at the Capitol in Austin, Texas, on May 6. (AP Photo/Austin American-Statesman, Jay Janner)

In Texas, the race to replace retiring Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison (R-Texas) is all about the GOP primary, after Democrats’ prized recruit — former general Ricardo Sanchez — crashed and burned early in the race.

The GOP contest so far has been a bit of a jumbled mess, and Dewhurst’s top tea party competition, former state solicitor general Ted Cruz, has been badly outspent in a crowded field that includes former Dallas mayor Tom Leppert.

Still, Cruz appears to be the top threat to gain a two-man runoff with Dewhurst, and even if he finishes far behind Dewhurst today, it’s hard to count him out in the July 31 runoff.

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Texas judges release new interim redistricting map

We may finally have a Texas congressional map for the 2012 election.

After a series of fits and starts thanks to a long, drawn-out legal process, a three-judge panel in San Antonio on Tuesday released an interim plan for the coming election.

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U.S. Supreme Court blocks court-drawn Texas map in win for Republicans

The U.S. Supreme Court has again thrown Texas’s new congressional map into a state of flux, temporarily blocking a court-drawn redistricting map late Friday and announcing that it would rule on the constitutionality of the map early next year.

The ruling is a win for Republicans who had sought to hold up the map of the state’s 36 congressional districts. The map was drawn by a three-judge panel after a map drawn by Texas Republicans got caught up in the courts.

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Texas map tilts redistricting battle in Democrats’ favor

A new interim redistricting map in Texas would give Democrats a good shot at winning three of the state’s four new House districts and could help them win the battle to create new Democratic-leaning congressional districts nationwide in the decennial round of redistricting.

Republicans had drawn a Texas map that would likely net them three seats and Democrats one, but a long-term court battle over that map meant a three-judge panel in San Antonio was tasked with drawing an interim map for the 2012 election.
Rep. Lloyd Doggett (D-Texas), left, and his fellow Democrats got a big break when a three-judge panel in Texas drafted an interim map for the 2012 election. That map is much better for Democrats than a GOP map that is being challenged in the courts. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

The map the judges produced should swing at least two seats in Democrats’ favor, and possibly more, compared to the GOP map. And those two seats tip the scales toward Democrats when it comes to the nationwide battle to create new districts they will be favored to win in 2012.

The Post’s Redistricting Scorecard now shows Democrats with a net gain of at least two new House seats they should win nationwide, while Republicans are losing at least one seat, according to projections.

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Court will draw Texas map in boon to Democrats

Court will draw Texas map in boon to Democrats

In a boost to Democrats’ chances of retaking the House next year, federal judges in Texas will draw a map for the state’s 2012 congressional races.

A Washington, D.C., federal court on Tuesday declined to sign off on redistricting plan spearheaded by the state Republican Party. The D.C. court ruled that the Republican line-drawers “used an improper standard or methodology to determine which districts afford minority voters the ability to elect their preferred candidates of choice.”

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Department of Justice to fight Texas redistricting map

Department of Justice to fight Texas redistricting map

The Justice Department has ruled that the congressional redistricting plan passed by Texas Republicans violates minority voting protections--a ruling likely to create a contentious legal battle.

The Texas attorney general last week filed in court to get the maps approved, but a Justice Department filing Monday indicates the federal government will fight the case. It said the plan wouldn’t “maintain or increase the ability of minority voters to elect their candidate of choice.”

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