The scenario will quickly put an end to Democrats’ hopes of challenging the rapidly diversifying 6th Congress District outside Fort Worth. Democrats saw an opportunity in the area, one of many across the country, where support for former President Donald Trump fell sharply between 2016 and 2020.
Trump led the district by just 3 points in 2020 after winning it by 12 points four years earlier. The late GOP representative Ron Wright won his race with 9 points last year.
But there were many credible Democratic candidates in the race, including Sanchez, nonprofit leader Sean Lassiter and state candidate for 2020 Lydia Bean. Bean is behind another Democrat, Tammy Alison, a lawyer who raised less than $ 50,000 for the race by mid-April, far less than the other candidates.
And in an interview last month, Sanchez warned of a potential halt, saying it would set the Democratic Party in a discouraging tone in 2021
“Nothing can be a worse omen for the Democratic Party than having a winning area like the one with two Republicans in the runoff,” Sanchez said, warning of a fragmented vote. “That would be very embarrassing and very discouraging.”
Republican candidates received 62 percent of the total vote in the all-party race, while Democrat candidates received 37 percent.
Low voter turnout and dropouts from recent election results suggest that motivating their base will not be so easy for Democrats in post-Trump elections, especially compared to the high-voter election in the Trump years, which led to Democrat engagement nationwide and saw large overproductions in dark red neighborhoods.
Now that Democrats controlled the White House and both houses of Congress, the Texas special election was a relatively quiet affair.
Susan Wright won Trump’s approval at the last minute, a boost in close competition, while Elsie is part of the area in the state legislature. The Growth Club has played a huge role in the race so far and is likely to be very involved in the next phase, whether the race becomes a Republican vs. Republican event or not.
The club has already launched a series of attacks, portraying Elsie as an anti-Trump Republican, largely because he received a donation from Bill Crystal, a conservative commentator and critic of Trump.
The club then approved Wright and David Mackintosh, the group’s president who has Trump’s ear, pressured him to do the same. Trump made last-minute approval last Monday in support of Wright and then recorded a televised event for her later that week.
Other notable candidates in the race finished far behind, including professional wrestler Dan Rodimer, who is running for Congress in Nevada in 2020; former Trump spokesman Serhi Kim, who lost approval after making disparaging comments about Chinese immigrants; and Michael Wood, who is running as a Republican against Trump with the support of Representative Adam Kinzinger (R-Ill.). Wood and Rodimer had about 3 percent of the vote each, while Kim had 1 percent.