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Wednesday, March 7, 2018

The importance of Texas elections


The legislative elections of November 6 are regarded as a test for President Donald Trump. A vote of approval or rejection to the path he has led the country and the congressmen who have tipped their scales in favor or against his government. In addition to Congress, all essential positions in the state are at stake, from the governor down.

The primaries in Texas will set the pulse of the electoral atmosphere in the United States on its way to November. Although the state is of a Republican majority, for years it has been taking a slow and potential transformation, that now could be accelerated, depending on the results of the vote. "In a key state for Republicans, Texas results are a referendum on Trump and the way he has led the government," Mark Jones, political analyst and professor at Rice University, told Univision.

"From what we've seen in early voting, there's a lot of enthusiasm among the Democrats - a combination of a negative reaction to Trump, as well as a group of good, well-funded Democratic candidates who are managing to mobilize voters," he added. In the 2016 elections, the magnate managed to impose himself on the Lone Star by a margin of 9%, very far from the 16 percentage points of difference that Mitt Romney achieved in 2012. However, according to the publication, Trump's support in the state cannot be underestimated. A survey conducted by UT Austin and the Texas Tribune showed that 83% of Republicans support the president. Although Trump himself had initially eluded local supporters, last week he turned his Twitter account around to offer support to candidates who are considered secured in local elections, such as Governor Greg Abbott and Senator Ted Cruz.

In this election battle in Texas, the number of women seeking public office, mainly Democrats, is particularly high. In total there are 222 positions available at all levels in the state primary, where more than 700 candidates were nominated, including 182 women. Although the candidates only represent 26% of the total names on the ballot, the number is a significant increase compared to previous years. Almost three times more than in 2014, according to data from the Center for American Women and Politics.

However, the glass roof for female equality in politics still does not break in the state. There are 99 posts where only male candidates are listed. Only in three races does the male absence stand out. Specifically, at the federal level, there are 47 women competing to reach Washington, 44 focused on the House of Representatives and three in the Senate, 34 are Democrats and 10 Republicans.

Observers note that in many cases female participation is driven by the national wave of empowerment and growing opposition to President Trump. In the midst of that boom, Texas could send its first Latino representative to the House of Representatives. Sylvia Garcia, in District 29 in Houston, and Veronica Escobar, in District 16 in El Paso, are the ones most likely to make history in November. There is yet to be seen if the vote turns a Republican State into a Democrat win and a Trump defeat.