Barring any court orders or surprise vetoes from Gov. Greg Abbott, the state is on track to hold the 2022 primary elections as originally scheduled.
The filing period for candidates to be placed on the ballot will be from November 13 through December 13, 2021, according to the office of the secretary of state. The primary election will be held on March 1, 2022 and runoff elections will be held on May 24, 2022.
With the notable exception of Senate District (SD) 10 that was shifted to favor Republicans instead of keeping it a competitive Democrat-leaning seat, the new state Senate map generally shores up support for the party that currently controls each district.
But while the map will likely lead to a less competitive general election for most district-level state races, a few retirements will leave many seats open to more competitive primary races.
To compare the changes in the partisan leanings of each district, The Texan has compiled the Texas Partisan Index (TPI).
The index is based on district-level results in the statewide general elections of 2018 and 2020 using data obtained from the Texas Legislative Council.
For each year, the TPI identifies each district’s median percentage of votes for Republicans compared to Democrats, excluding third party candidates. The median result for each year is then averaged and rounded to a whole number.
The median vote for Republicans statewide was 53.7 percent in 2018 and 54.8 percent in 2020, so the state as a whole has a current TPI of R-54%. This is a noticeable decline from the 2016-2018 statewide TPI of R-56%.
Likewise, there was a noticeable shift toward Democrats at the state Senate level. Between the two ratings, the number of competitive seats between a TPI of R-55% and D-55% grew from four to six, with all competitive seats shifting further toward Democrats.
But the new map approved by the state legislature completely removes all districts within that TPI range. Under the new Senate map, the most competitive district is SD 27 in South Texas with a TPI of D-56%.
A table with the full list of TPI ratings that compares the old and new maps can be found below.
Note that the incumbents listed are the members who either live within the new boundaries of the district. Members who have announced their retirements or are running for another office are excluded.
A regularly updated list of open seats can be found on The Texan’s 2022 War Room.
|District||Member||Old Map TPI||New Map TPI|
Correction: The filing period for candidates has been corrected to the dates listed by the secretary of state.
Correction: The listed TPI calculations were corrected for an error that did not incorporate the 2020 median results. The following districts saw the ratings shift slightly: SD 6 (from D-72% to D-70%), SD 12 (from R-61% to R-60%), SD 13 (from D-81% to D-80%), SD 14 (from D-75% to D-74%), SD 15 (from D-65% to D-64%), SD 16 (from D-63% to D-62%), SD 19 (from D-58% to D-57%), SD 20 (from D-62% to D-59%), SD 21 (from D-64% to D-62%), SD 27 (from D-58% to D-56%), SD 29 (from D-70% to D-68%), and SD 31 (from R-79% to R-80%). Thus, under the new map, the most competitive district is SD 27 and not SD 19 as originally written. The remaining districts did not have any changes to their rounded TPI rating.
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Daniel Friend is a reporter for The Texan. He participated in a Great Books program at Azusa Pacific University and graduated in 2019 with a degree in Political Science. He has studied C.S. Lewis’s science fiction trilogy and in his spare time you might find him writing his own novel partly inspired by the series.