Voters Stampede to Record Turnout in Texas

March 07, 2018 - Wednesday

Voters Stampede to Record Turnout in Texas

If yesterday was the starting gun on the midterm elections, then Texas was a fitting place to start. After weeks of insisting they could be competitive in one of the reddest states in America, even Democrats knew that the real proof would be in the primary pudding. By night's end, they'd proved one thing: their base's enthusiasm is real. Just not enough to deliver the upset Democrats were hoping for.

If political strategists were hoping for a clearer picture after Texas's primaries, they didn't get one. Even so, voters managed to send a few clear messages to the leaders of both parties. Number one: privacy policy matters. After outgoing House Speaker Joe Straus (R) stabbed Texans in the back on the state's bathroom bill, some of his biggest allies paid the price for it. Jason Villalba, who not only jumped ship on the state's privacy measure but also voted to punish business owners for their religious beliefs, was ousted by Lisa Luby Ryan. All in all, voters propelled 12 anti-Straus candidates to primary wins in the House and Senate -- taking out major cogs in the Straus wheel in the process. More could be added to that number after the run-off elections in May. On top of that, every House incumbent who did support the Privacy Act won reelection (except one, who was opposed by conservative groups because of other positions).

And voters weren't done yet. If Republicans wondered just how fiercely their base opposes this gender free-for-all, the results of precinct proposition #6 certainly let them know. A near-unanimous number -- 90 percent -- approved of the resolution: "Texas should protect the privacy and safety of women and children in spaces such as bathrooms, locker rooms, and showers in all Texas schools and government buildings." In case you're unfamiliar with how Texas's precinct resolutions work, they aren't binding -- but they are incredibly important in setting policy priorities in things like the state party platform.

So much for the narrative that Texans don't care about privacy! After the far-Left tried to sneak its extreme agenda into classrooms in Fort Worth, board rooms in San Antonio, and churches in Houston, most voters started taking it personally. Now that they've replaced some of the Straus faithful with real conservatives, maybe Texans will finally get a second crack at the Privacy Act.

Thanks to a lot of hard work, it was also a successful night for the FRC Action PAC. Of the seven candidates we endorsed, four won and two made it to run-offs. After speaking to all of them personally, our team firmly believes that they'll be strong advocates for faith, family, and freedom. Fortunately, they'll have some familiar faces leading the way. Governor Greg Abbott (R) and Senator Ted Cruz both sailed to renomination. Cruz, who's used to the hype that Democrats might one day turn the state blue, doesn't think that's in the offing any time soon. "We had a strong turnout for conservatives, it was really encouraging." This, he explained, despite the early vote numbers, which, as he pointed out, "were quite good for Democrats."

More Democrats voted in the senatorial and gubernatorial primaries than the last decade and a half, but Republicans still turned out more. "More than 1.5 million people voted Tuesday in the Republican primary for U.S. Senate won by Senator Ted Cruz," the New York Post points out. "That beats the previous record of 1.48 million in 2010, during former President Barack Obama's first term." If conservatives want to hang on to the progress President Trump is making, they'll have to keep this up. Otherwise, the next two years of GOP promises -- defunding Planned Parenthood, confirming judges, protecting religious liberty, defending privacy -- are all down the drain.

Tony Perkins' Washington Update is written with the aid of FRC Action senior writers.

Also in the March 7 Washington Update:

Bible-Free Zone Takes up Residence in FL Condo

SPLC Skips Class on College Hate

Previous Washington Update Articles »

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