As usual, the media and the New York Times appear to have overhyped hopes for a Texas takeover in Congress this November. The paper’s familiar anti-conservative labeling pattern was present in the paper’s live updates of results from primary elections from Texas on Tuesday, with “far-right” Republicans pitted against benign-sounding “progressives” – not “far left,” not even “liberal.”
Texans voted on Tuesday in primary elections marked by widespread infighting. Democrats have been clamoring to flip three congressional seats in districts that Hillary Clinton won in 2016. But in recent weeks, establishment Democrats have had to grapple with progressive candidates, and far-right Republicans have set their sights and advertising dollars on moderate Republicans.
And Beto O’Rourke, the newest Democratic savior of Texas, whom the paper fawned over last month, underperformed substantially, coming out on top in a challenging three-way Democratic primary. National Review’s Jim Geraghty summed up the media overhype of yet another Texas Democratic candidate:
Beto O’Rourke, Senate candidate, fundraising phenom, and the latest Great Hope of the Texas Democratic Party: 641,052 votes in yesterday’s primary.
Ted Cruz: Incumbent senator, Mr. Conservative, and guy everybody in the media seems to think is vulnerable in the face of all available evidence: 1,315,455 votes in yesterday’s primary.
So much for a candidate the Times called “A Blue Spark In the Heart Of Deep-Red Cruz Country.”
A Times report from Houston from Manny Fernandez and Jonathan Martin focused on anti-Trump “energy”: “Texas Democrats Surge to Polls, in Show of Anti-Trump Sentiment.”
Texas Democrats surged to the polls on Tuesday in the first primary of 2018, demonstrating a wave of Trump-inspired energy, but also showcasing party divisions that have emerged at the outset of an otherwise promising midterm campaign.
Nearly 886,000 Texans cast ballots early in the state’s 15 most populous counties, the highest early-vote turnout in a nonpresidential election year in state history. And more Democrats statewide voted early this year than even in 2016, the year that Donald J. Trump, a Republican, was elected to the White House.
Yet even as Democrats in the state’s biggest cities came out in large numbers, Republicans still cast more ballots over all thanks to their rural strength.
[Gina Ortiz Jones] is part of a wave of Democratic women, African-American and Hispanic people, gays, lesbians and even journalists who are running for office for the first time in Texas, in large part in reaction to the Trump administration.
“Even journalists” running against Trump? Who would have thought!
Fernandez and Martin found an excuse for O’Rourke’s poor showing.
Senator Ted Cruz faced minimal opposition in the Republican primary, but his Democratic opponent, Representative Beto O’Rourke, won the nomination while losing a substantial number of votes to two little-known opponents, demonstrating that he is not well known yet among many of the state’s voters.
After months of hyping Democrats in the run-up to the 2018 vote, it’s certainly (as Erick Erickson wrote) “Hard to Trust The Media's Political Coverage After Texas.”