It could be a close Super Tuesday race between Bernie Sanders and Joe Biden.
Texas is one of the most delegate-rich states voting on Super Tuesday primaries — meaning that a decisive win for any candidate could give them a significant edge in securing the Democratic nomination.
Texas is second only to California in terms of the number of delegates at stake in a Super Tuesday contest: It will award 228 delegates, 149 of which are tied to the results in 31 individual state Senate precincts and the remaining 79 of which are awarded based on statewide results. Candidates must capture at least 15 percent of the vote in a single district in order to be awarded those precinct-level delegates and at least 15 percent of the vote statewide for statewide delegates.
Going into Tuesday’s elections, it appeared to be a tight contest in Texas between Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders and former Vice President Joe Biden. Sanders was expected to win in Texas until Monday, when Biden picked up endorsements from a slew of candidates who had dropped out of the Democratic primary.
As of March 3, FiveThirtyEight’s average of national polling data showed Sanders in a narrow lead over Biden. Former New York City Mayor Mike Bloomberg and Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren will also likely win at least some delegates. Polls close at 8 pm Eastern, 7 pm local time.
Primaries for congressional seats are also happening on Tuesday. Some of them are in battleground districts where Democrats hope to pick up seats in the general election, but others are in solidly red precincts where fealty to President Donald Trump is a major selling point among Republicans.
The Democratic Senate primary
The race to choose which Democrat will challenge incumbent Republican Sen. John Cornyn has been chaotic.
MJ Hegar, once an Air Force helicopter pilot, has distinguished herself as the frontrunner, raising the most campaign funds and snagging the coveted endorsement of the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee, the campaign arm of Senate Democrats. She appeared to lead the field in a February University of Texas/Texas Tribune poll that showed her 13 points ahead of the next-best-performing candidate, Cristina Tzintzún Ramirez, a progressive who has earned endorsements from Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Joaquín Castro.
But the primary is far from over. The field remains crowded with more than a dozen candidates. Most analysts anticipate that there will be a runoff election in May since many primary voters remain undecided.
The race will likely be closely watched nationwide, especially given the Democrats’ previous attempt in 2018 to unseat a Republican senator in Texas: Former Texas Rep. Beto O’Rourke challenged the incumbent Ted Cruz, narrowly losing by a margin of about 2 percent.
Other down-ballot races to watch
There are few competitive GOP primaries at the House level.
US Rep. Kay Granger, who represents Fort Worth and is the most senior Republican woman in the House, is facing a primary challenge from a formal local City Council member, Chris Putnam, who is flush with campaign cash and has accused her of not being loyal to Trump. She is the top Republican on the House Appropriations Committee, a coveted position usually reserved for members with a long career in Congress.
There is also a 15-way Republican primary for retiring Rep. Pete Olson’s seat representing Sugar Land — one that Democrats hope to win in the general election. Notably, Pierce Bush, the grandson of former President George H.W. Bush, is one of the contenders.
Republicans are hoping to take back a seat in Dallas now occupied by US Rep. Colin Allred, a former NFL player and a Democrat who flipped the district blue after narrowly beating the incumbent Pete Sessions in 2018. He’s among 42 members of Congress who are in the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee’s program to protect incumbents facing tough reelection campaigns, and while many of them have avoided talking about the Democratic primary, Allred has been actively campaigning on behalf of Biden.
The top two Republican contenders in that race are Genevieve Collins, who is running on a pro-business platform and snagged the Dallas Morning News’s endorsement, and Floyd McLendon Jr., a former Navy SEAL who is running on a border security platform.
Meanwhile, immigration attorney Jessica Cisneros is trying to unseat Rep. Henry Cuellar, a conservative Blue Dog Democrat who has backed Trump’s policies 69 percent of the time, endorsed former Republican President George W. Bush, advocated for gun rights, and opposed federal funding for abortions.
Cisneros once interned for Cuellar in Congress, but now she’s running against him with the support of the Justice Democrats — the same group that helped propel Ocasio-Cortez to victory in her 2018 primary campaign against the incumbent Democrat Joe Crowley, who had held his seat in Queens, New York, for two decades.
Cisneros’s candidacy has attracted national attention and endorsements from Sanders and Warren, as well as Ocasio-Cortez. Cisneros has embraced progressive policies, including Medicare-for-all and the Green New Deal, despite her rival’s claims that his district is fundamentally moderate.
And if you’re interested in other Texas House races, we have results from all the Democratic and Republican primaries below:
And the GOP ones:
Author: Nicole Narea