Beto O & # 39; Rourke can he modify the map 2020? What does his performance tell us in 2018?


The argument pro-O 'Rourke is quite easy to do. He lost only 3 points in 2018. No Democrat has been on the verge of winning a seat in the Texas Senate since 1988. O 'Rourke has outclassed the political leaning of the United States. State 10 to 15 points (depending on whether you use FiveThirtyEight's my "average partisanship") when watching a series of elections since the beginning of the decade. This is particularly impressive for someone running against a holder.

These statistics may not take into account how quickly Texas has undergone political change, thanks in part to President Donald Trump.

When you look at O ​​'Rourke's performance in the context of the latest political developments, she seems less extraordinary, in my opinion.

One of the best indicators for judging the performance of O. Rourke in 2018 is to compare it to the situation of the average Democrats in Texas in 2018. These are candidates who have all submitted to the same political environment in the same state. O & # rourke did better than most, but not much.

Yes, O 'Rourke got about 11 points better than Democrat Lupe Valdez in the governor's leadership race. In the other two major races at the state level (Lieutenant Governor and Attorney General), Democrats have fared well over recent years. Mike Collier lost by 5 in the Lieutenant Governor's race. O 'Rourke's 3-point loss was only 1 point better than Justin Nelson's in the race for the Attorney General. Collier and Nelson were both opposed to Republicans in place, as O & # 39; Rourke.
Of course, it's all state offices, not federal offices. Congressional races in the state suggest something similar, though. O 'Rourke lost 3 points in the Senate race with only 3 points better than the Democrats in the cumulative vote in the State House (considering the races where a party did not submitted candidate). In races involving Republicans up, O 'Rourke made 4 points better than the average or middle democrat.

Nationally, Democratic Senate candidates made on average as well as the average candidate in their country's House in races involving Republican candidates. Democratic candidates averaged about 2 points better than Democratic candidates in open competitions, as well as those involving members of the Democratic Senate.

According to this statistic, O. Rourke did a little better than the average Democrat at the national level, although this is not excessive. If you want to see a truly impressive performance, look at Senator Amy Klobuchar in Minnesota. She surpassed the average Democrat candidate in her country by 13 points.

Nevertheless, you can still argue that O 'Rourke's candidacy allowed the Democrats to win in Texas, which means that these statistics underestimate his strength. It's totally plausible.

A more likely explanation in my mind is that politics is becoming more and more of a question of opinions towards the president.

Hillary Clinton lost Texas by 9 points. O & # rourke did about 6 points better than that. In the other five races involving Republican Senate nominees, the average Democratic candidate scored 5 points better than Clinton. The median was 6 points better.

In other words, O 'Rourke did not do better than the average of this control group, admittedly small.

In developing it, you will find that the median Democratic candidate has scored 9 points better than Clinton in races without an elected official and 12 points in races with a Democratic incumbent. This makes sense as incumbents tend to do better than non-incumbents. On this measure, Klobuchar made more than 20 points better than Clinton. (Notably, a regression controlling the performance, occupation and interaction between Clinton and Clinton shows a slight, albeit mediocre, outperformance at O ​​& # 39; Rourke, like the vote in the Bedroom.)

In addition, O 'Rourke did not do much better than the assessment that Trump had suggested giving him. Trump's net approval rating (approval rating – disapproval rating) was 0 points in the exit survey. If all of Trump's disapproving people turned to O 'Rourke and all the learners turned to Ted Cruz, O. Rourke's Republican opponent, the race should have been equal.
It is logical that O & # Rourke slightly underperformed what Trump's approval rating would suggest, as he was facing a historical trader. The median of Democrats in Senate races involving Republican elected officials has done either a little less well, or better than O 'Rourke over Trump, depending on how you measure Trump's approval rate. Again, however, there is no sign that O. Rourke has done much better than the country's Democrats in a similar situation.
One thing I did not mention is money. O & # 39; Rourke may be able to lift a lot and quickly. This is certainly a strength that could help in the primary. That will not help in general elections, where both sides will have enough money, no matter how they feel about Trump.
And if you still do not believe that the results of O'Rourke's general election in 2018 and 2020 have a lot to do with Trump, check out the latest poll from Texas. Quinnipiac University found that the top three Democrats with more than 70% fame held very similar positions with Trump in 2020. Former Vice President Joe Biden, O. Rourke and the Senator Bernie Sanders all followed from 47% to 46% or 45%. Other less known candidates receive less support, but Trump remains consistently at 47% or 48%. Not surprisingly, the 47% of Trump are equal to his favorable score in the poll.

Overall, O 'Rourke is certainly stronger in Texas than you would have expected from a Democrat five years ago. According to these data, the same goes for other Democrats. O 'Rourke's performances in 2018 suggest that he's certainly no worse than the average Democrat. He is probably better. O 'Rourke, however, is probably not a quick fix for Democrats.

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