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Redistricting and the high stakes battle for the Texas House

Redistricting and the High Stakes Battle for the Texas House


"There's no doubt Republicans will continue to control the Texas Senate
and governorship in 2021,
and thus all Democratic hopes of avoiding another
GOP partisan gerrymander lie in taking control of the Texas House."
                                                                          — Mark Jones, Fellow in Political Science

In 2021 the Texas Legislature will carry out the redistricting process for the state’s 38 or 39 U.S. House seats as well as for the Texas Senate and Texas House of Representatives.

Gov. Greg Abbott’s term runs until January of 2023 and there exists a 100% certainty that the Republican Party will retain its majority in the Texas Senate. Texas Democrats’ only hope of having some direct or indirect impact on the 2021 redistricting process is to take control of the Texas House. By the same token, if the Texas GOP can retain its House majority, it will be able to draw tailor-made legislative districts that will increase its prospects of retaining control of the Texas Senate and House during the next decade as well as increase the odds of the GOP retaking control of the U.S. House during the next decade.

The graphics below are part of a periodic series of ratings of the Texas House seats deemed to be competitive in terms of the ability of a candidate from either party to win in November 2020. In the case of the ratings below, the seats fall under the following categories:

Likely – Not very competitive now, but has potential to become more competitive.

Lean –  Competitive, but one party has an advantage.

Toss Up – Most competitive; either party has a good chance of winning.

The remaining 120 seats are considered to be safely in the hands of either the Democratic or Republican parties. 

Check back here throughout the year for the latest analysis of these races from the Texas Politics Program.


July 14, 2020 

In July there were five changes to the previous March 5, 2020 ratings.
One Democratic-held seat, HD-105, moved from “Likely Democratic” to “Safe Democratic."
One Democratic-held seat, HD-65, moved from “Toss Up” to “Lean Democratic.”
One Republican-held seat, HD-26, moved from “Toss Up” to “Lean Republican.”
Two Republican-held seats, HD-96 and HD-134, moved from “Lean Republican” to “Toss Up.”



March 5, 2020

There were three changes to the previous January 30 ratings following the March 3 primary.

First, one open Democratic-held seat, HD-74, moved from "Likely Democratic" to "Safe Democratic" following Eddie Morales Jr.’s victory with 51% of the vote in the Democratic primary.

Second, one open Republican-held seat, HD-138, moved from "Lean Democratic" to "Toss Up" following Lacey Hull’s victory with 58% of the vote in the Republican primary.

Third, one open Republican-held seat, HD-26, moved from "Lean Republican" to "Toss Up" following both the Republican and Democratic primaries, resulting in May runoffs.


January 30, 2020 Update

Following the release of the second semester 2019 campaign finance reports in mid-January and the January 28 special election in HD-28, three changes were made to the ratings.

First, HD-26 was moved from “Toss Up” to “Lean Republican.”

Second, HD-28 was moved from “Lean Republican” to “Likely Republican.”

Third, HD-54 was moved from “Lean Republican” to “Likely Republican.”
Texas House Ratings - Jan 2020

Ratings released January 1, 2020
Texas House Ratings - Jan 2020