Aug 23, 2022 - News

Texas isn't as red as it feels

State Senate leanings
Data: NCSL; Note: Nebraska has a unicameral state legislature and is not included in this map; Map: Nicki Camberg/Axios

The Texas state legislature isn't as strongly split between Republicans and Democrats, compared to the most partisan states, but the balance could tilt more strongly in Republicans' favor in the upcoming November election.

Driving the news: All 31 state Senate and 150 state House seats are up for election in November. So is the governor, lieutenant governor and state attorney general.

Why it matters: The majority of Texans have a negative view of the economy, say their personal economic situation is worse than a year ago and believe the Texas economy is worse than a year ago, according to a poll by UT Austin's Texas Politics Project.

State of play: Republicans have dominated Democrats at the state level for more than two decades, allowing conservatives to exercise outsized power over policies governing redistricting, abortion access, gun control, voting, public health and other hot-button issues, per Axios' Stef W. Kight.

By the numbers: Republicans have five more seats than Democrats in the state Senate and 19 more Republicans in the state House.

  • The stakes are even higher in Arizona and Minnesota, where margins between Republicans and Democrats in both the state Senate and House are below five seats.

Zoom out: The upcoming U.S. congressional elections will also pose another challenge for Texas Democrats who are vying for more control in the national landscape.

  • Nine of the state's 17 former swing districts are now more favorable for Republicans and three seats are more favorable toward Democrats after redistricting, according to an Axios analysis.

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