Mar 7, 2018

Democratic women won big in Texas; DCCC strategy backfired

A voter in South Austin hands out campaign material outside the Gardner Betts Annex. Photo: Drew Anthony Smith / Getty Images

More than 1 million Democratic voters went to the polls in Texas last night, the first time they've passed that number in a midterm primary since 2002, per AP. And more than half of the 50 women running for Congress in the reliably red state either advanced to the runoff or won their primaries.

Why it matters: Texas might not be turning blue, but last night's primaries showed how 2018 could be the year for Democratic women running successfully in tough districts around the country. "It was not a good night to be a white guy in a Democratic primary," said a Democratic pollster involved in various Texas races.

Winners: EMILY's List.

  • The group is arguably the largest resource for pro-choice Democratic women. Of the five House candidates they endorsed, two won their primaries outright (TX-16 and TX-29) and three advanced to runoffs (TX-07, TX-23 and TX-32).
  • The two who won their primaries, Veronica Escobar and Sylvia Garcia, are one step closer to becoming the first Latinas Texas has ever elected to Congress.
  • "Democratic primary voters are looking for the opposite of Trump," said the Democratic pollster involved in Texas races. "A progressive woman is a good vessel for that."

Losers: The DCCC.

  • They released a brutal opposition memo encouraging Texas voters not to support Laura Moser in TX-07, calling her a "Washington insider who begrudgingly moved to Houston to run for Congress."
  • Moser is now headed into a runoff against Lizzie Fletcher (backed by EMILY's List).
  • Fletcher led Moser by 19 percentage points in absentee voting and 7 percentage points in early voting, and last night Moser closed that gap to just 5 percentage points.
  • The DCCC's opposition to Moser arguably helped her in this race. Given their desire to weed out candidates in crowded California primaries, it's not clear that any candidate will be too intimidated by the DCCC's involvement in their race moving forward.

Big picture: General enthusiasm among Democratic voters who are angry about President Trump — whose presidency has inspired women's marches around the world and coincided with the #MeToo movement — could continue to propel women candidates forward in 2018.

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  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 3 a.m. ET: 665,164 — Total deaths: 30,852 — Total recoveries: 140,225.
  2. U.S.: Leads the world in cases. Total confirmed cases as of 3 a.m. ET: 124,665 — Total deaths: 2,191 — Total recoveries: 1,095.
  3. Federal government latest: President Trump announces new travel advisories for New York, New Jersey and Connecticut, but rules out quarantine enforcement. Per the CDC, residents of those states must now "refrain from non-essential domestic travel for 14 days," with the exception of critical infrastructure industry workers.
  4. State updates: Alaska is latest state to issue a stay-at-home order — New York is trying to nearly triple its hospital capacity in less than a month and has moved its presidential primary to June 23. Some Midwestern swing voters who backed Trump's handling of the virus less than two weeks ago are balking at his call for the U.S. to be "opened up" by Easter.
  5. World updates: In Spain, over 1,400 people were confirmed dead between Thursday to Saturday.
  6. 🚀 Space updates: OneWeb filed for bankruptcy amid the novel coronavirus pandemic.
  7. Hollywood: Tom Hanks and Rita Wilson have returned to U.S. after being treated for coronavirus.
  8. What should I do? Answers about the virus from Axios expertsWhat to know about social distancingQ&A: Minimizing your coronavirus risk
  9. Other resources: CDC on how to avoid the virus, what to do if you get it.

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Coronavirus updates: Global death toll tops 30,000

Data: The Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins, the CDC, and China's Health Ministry. Note: China numbers are for the mainland only and U.S. numbers include repatriated citizens and confirmed plus presumptive cases from the CDC

The novel coronavirus has now killed more than 30,000 people around the world — with Italy reporting over 10,000 deaths, per Johns Hopkins data.

The big picture: The number of deaths from COVID-19 in the U.S. surpassed 2,000 on Saturday. The United States leads the world in confirmed coronavirus infections — more than 124,000 by early Sunday. The number of those recovered from the virus in the U.S. passed the 1,000-mark on Saturday evening.

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