TEXAS | TX-7 | TX-29 | TX-21

Tuesday Primary Offers Test of DCCC Strategy

Early voting shows Democrats more than doubled their 2014 numbers.

March 5, 2018, 10:40 a.m.

“[M]ore than twice as many people voted early in the Democratic primaries in 2018 as in 2014, while Republican early voting crept up by 15 percent, according to final figures posted Saturday by the Texas Secretary of State’s office” ahead of Tuesday’s primaries. Altogether, 885,574 Texas voted in person or by mail over the 11 days of early voting, which ended Friday.” That “figure is up from 592,153 early votes in the comparable period before the 2014 March primary in the last midterm elections — a nearly 50 percent increase.” (Austin American-Statesman)

GOP PRIMARY TESTS. “In several crowded Texas congressional primaries Tuesday, Republican candidates have decided that the best way to stand out is to stand squarely in Trump’s shadow - a campaign strategy that has been only slightly scrambled last week by the president’s sudden embrace of gun control and protectionist tariffs. With some notable exceptions, candidates in” TX-21 “have been wary of showing any daylight between their position and Trump’s. That has remained true even as Democratic turnout surged in early voting and national Democrats tout a chance to flip the longtime Republican seat.” (Washington Post)

TX-07: The Congressional Leadership Fund revealed a poll Friday that showed activist Laura Moser (D) positioned to secure a spot in the primary runoff to face Rep. John Culberson (R), despite DCCC’s efforts to box her out. Trial lawyer Lizzie Pannill Fletcher (D) took first place with 28 percent in the poll (March 1; 726 LVs; +/- 3.6%) where 25 percent were undecided. Moser came in second with 17 percent, just ahead of physician Jason Westin’s (D) 14 percent and nonprofit executive Alex Triantaphyllis’s 13 percent. More than 60 percent of those surveyed disagreed with the DCCC’s attack on Moser. (release)

DNC Chairman Tom Perez “on Friday questioned the actions of the party’s congressional campaign committee in Houston’s hotly contested 7th Congressional District primary to criticize one of the party’s seven candidates,” activist Laura Moser (D). “I wouldn’t have done it,” he said. (Houston Chronicle)

Nonprofit executive Alex Triantaphyllis (D) and trial attorney Lizzie Pannill Fletcher (D), “who’ve raised the most money as of the latest campaign finance filings, have larger presences on television. Fletcher is also the beneficiary of direct mail and digital buys by EMILY’s List. … At the same time, a group called the Workers Families Party is hitting her with a small amount of digital advertising. Few will guess who makes the runoff, but insiders predict it will boil down to some pairing of Fletcher, Moser and Triantaphyllis.” (Texas Tribune)

TX-29: “Months ago,” state Sen. Sylvia Garcia (D) “appeared poised to easily win this race, but something happened along the way to the nomination: Out of nowhere,” health care executive Tahir Javed (D), “declared his candidacy for the seat and has, so far, raised $1.2 million, most of that his own money. Garcia is widely expected to take first place here on Tuesday, but the operative question is will she win by enough to avoid a runoff?” (Texas Tribune)

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