The widely heralded blue wave did not show up nationally in the U.S. in 2018, but it did show up to a small extent in Texas and was overwhelming in Harris and Fort Bend Counties!
So what happened and why? This year we saw in many ways the federalization of the election with well north of $100 million spent causing local campaigns to not be heard. The big ballot encouraged straight ticket voting and the Democrats won it big. They also turned out lots of new voters who mostly voted Democratic.
Incumbent County Judges lost and in Ed Emmett's case a significant libertarian and undervote more than accounts for his margin of defeat to a neophyte candidate. Observers say in both counties a failure to address property tax issues, disaster reappraisal and/or a lackluster campaign spelled doom.
The trends continued in the state where Republicans lost two Congressional and State Senate seats and over ten State House races.
Republican judges were voted out in the Harris and Fort Bend area and we are replacing three hundred years of combined judicial experience with very little. Some Democrats elected will prove to be good, many, given the lack of real experience, will not be good at all which will be to the detriment of those who appear in their courts.
Nationally, Republicans will gain three to five U.S. Senate seats and will lose around 30 House seats, which is average for an off-year election for a party holding the Presidency.
Democrats in Texas owe O'Rourke a thank you for galvanizing the Democratic vote. Democrats nationally owe O'Rourke a thanks for nothing for soaking up Democratic money and not being willing to share it and helped the GOP win a number of close Senate races.
So, where the Democrats won, they now have to govern. Let's see how well Harris and Fort Bend counties work under Democratic control. It will be interesting.
Watch Red, White and Blue's Post-Election Analysis
Please take the opportunity to watch Red, White and Blue's Post-Election Analysis from Houston Public Media with host Gary Polland and Dr. Elizabeth Simas (Associate Professor, Political Science, UH):
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Red, White & Blue featuring TCR Editor Gary Polland on Fridays at 7:30 pm on PBS Houston Channel 8, replaying Saturday at 6:30 p.m. on Channel 8, Monday at 11:30 pm on Channel 8.2 and on the web at www.houstonpublicmedia.org.
About Your Editor
11-09-18 - Election Day Results with guests: Neftali Partida (Senior Public Policy Advisor, Locke Lord LLP) and Mustafa Tameez (Managing Director of Outreach Strategists).
12-14-18 - The U.S. Presidency: An Analysis of Leadership with guests: Dr. David Schein (Associate Professor and Director of CSB Graduate Programs, University of St. Thomas) and Dr. Heather Evans (Associate Professor of Political Science, Sam Houston State University).
Gary Polland is a long-time conservative and Republican spokesman, fund-raiser, and leader who completed three terms as the Harris County Republican Chairman. During his three terms, Gary was described as the most successful county Chairman in America by Human Events - The National Conservative Weekly. He is in his twenty-first year of editing a newsletter dealing with key conservative and Republican issues. The last seventeen years he has edited Texas Conservative Review. As a public service for the last 15 years, Gary has published election guides for the GOP primary, general elections and city elections, all with the purpose of assisting conservative candidates. Gary is also in his 17th year of co-hosting Red, White and Blue on Houston Public Media TV 8 PBS Houston, longest running political talk show in Texas history. Gary serves on the Board of Directors of American Values, a national pro-family, pro-faith, conservative organization supporting the unity of the American people around the vision of our founding fathers and dedicated to reminding the public of the conservative principles fundamental to the survival of our nation. Gary is a practicing attorney and strategic consultant. He can be reached at (713) 621-6335.