Gallego was a significantly better fundraiser than Rodriguez and, from his base in West Texas, is better positioned to cut into Canseco's base. But Gallego will have fewer than 100 days to raise enough money and train his sights on Canseco, who had over $1 million in the bank by the end of June.
President Obama narrowly carried the 23rd District in 2008 with 49.9 percent of the vote after John Kerry won just 41.5 percent there in 2004. Many heavily Hispanic districts -- this one is nearly 70 percent Hispanic -- experienced similar, above-average jumps in Democratic performance between those two elections, suggesting it was not solely tied to Obama's popularity but also to underlying population trends. Thus, the 23rd District will be something of a Hispanic bellwether this fall. A successful hold by Canseco will suggest that Democrats are not poised for the inevitable gains among Hispanics some have predicted, while a Gallego win will be a powerful signal of that group's political shift.