What the 2022 election means for Texas Democrats

Progressive voters need to mobilize and protect the gains made over the past six years.

Recently, a Dallas Morning News reporter asked me what the 2022 election means for Texas Democrats. His point was, aside from winning and losing, what is the larger impact of the upcoming midterm elections.

My response to him is that, of course, Democrats are aiming to win statewide. But recognizing that midterm elections are historically a challenge for the party holding the White House, I pointed to another critical need:

Texas Democratic voters need to mobilize to protect the gains made over the past six years.

If Democrats around the country are expected to have a rough year, it’s possible to defray some of those potential damages by mobilizing around and protecting the gains made in Congress (2 seats), the legislature (17 seats in the House, 2 in the Senate), as well as local city council and school board races around the state.

Of course Democrats would also like to win statewide, and have a fighting chance with Beto O’Rourke at the top of the ticket - he’s the most well-known and well-funded Democrat running in a generation. And Democrats should keep up the fight to win additional seats in the legislature at the local level.

The folks who stood up to voter suppression, stood up for abortion rights, defended our LGBTQIA families, our union brothers and sisters, people who believe in a fair democracy, and that strength comes from kindness.

It’s imperative that voters mobilize to protect the gains made over the past six years. Holding these seats is not a given, but they are key to building a new majority over the long haul.

Redistricting sucks, and there are already lawsuits around discriminatory gerrymandering conducted by the legislature. But as the districts are crystalized along partisan lines, some marginal blue districts are still subject to flipping red in a bad year. Voters must not get comfortable, we’ve got to mobilize to protect the gains.

Midterms are notoriously low turnout elections, especially in Texas, but if we can protect the gains in 2022 then it will put Texas progressives in a better position heading into a higher turnout 2024 election.