Now that the Democrats have lost what was billed as a Bellwether special election, the narrative will be “actually, it didn’t matter.” It was a Republican seat in a district Trump won by 10 points. Okay, then why did the Left dump gobs of cash to try and flip it if it didn’t matter?
Because it mattered.
Winning would have provided ammunition to sell a perception. To give Democrats momentum. From a State House Seat outside Austin? Sure. And they wanted it.
Presidential candidates Joe Biden and Elizabeth Warren had endorsed Markowitz, and outside groups flooded the race with six-figure checks and television ads. Beto O’Rourke practically made the district a second home after ending his own presidential campaign in November, spending weekends knocking on doors in Katy’s affluent neighborhoods.
It escalated a normally minor local election into a high-stakes test of Democrats’ chances in Texas this November, and whether suburban voters are turning away from the party of an impeached president.
DNC President Tom Perez was talking up this race every chance he had.
The race’s top billing at the dinner was no accident. Democrats both inside and outside Texas have become intent on flipping HD-28 as they charge toward 2020 with hopes of capturing the lower-chamber majority.
“We think we’re gonna take back the state House,” said Abhi Rahman, a spokesman for the Texas Democratic Party. “This will be a good barometer of how big the wave is.”
Here’s your wave. Turnout was 20% above average and the Republican won by 16 points. Six points higher than Trump’s 10-point win in 2016.
How’s that for perception?