Battleground 2020Elections 2020Statewide NewsTexas Partisan Index: Rating Senate Districts From Most Republican to Most Democratic

Here's a breakdown of the partisan leanings of each of Texas' 31 state senate districts — from red to blue.
October 6, 2020
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Below is The Texan’s Texas Partisan Index (TPI) that outlines the voting tendencies in every Texas senate district based on results from statewide elections in 2016 and 2018.

A table and map of Texas House district ratings can be found here.

The Data

The index is modeled after the Cook Political Report’s Partisan Voting Index (PVI), which considers the partisan leanings of all congressional districts in the nation by looking at the share of votes cast for Republicans and Democrats in the past two presidential elections.

Whereas Cook’s PVI is limited to the only national election, a number of statewide elections can be used to compare Texas legislative districts.

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Using data obtained from the Texas Legislative Council, the TPI identifies each district’s median percentage of Republican votes relative to those cast for Democrats out of every statewide race.

The district medians for the 2016 and 2018 general elections are then averaged to calculate the index number for each district.

The Results

Statewide during the last presidential election in 2016, voting results between Republicans and Democrats favored the GOP with a median share of 58 percent. 

In 2018, during the U.S. Senate race between Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) and Beto O’Rourke, results shifted notably toward Democrats, but Republicans still led with a median of 54 percent.

Consequently, the current statewide TPI is labeled as R-56%.

Of the 31 senate districts in Texas, 20 have a TPI favoring Republicans while the other 11 favor Democrats.

Three of the seats closest to a 50-50 average are controlled by members of the opposite party.

Sens. Beverly Powell (D-Burleson) in SD 10 and Nathan Johnson (D-Dallas) in SD 16 represent slightly Republican-leaning districts with TPIs of R-51% and R-52%, respectively.

Powell and Johnson were first elected in 2018 when the median share in statewide elections for both districts shifted to give Democrats a slight edge at 51 percent. 

Sen. Pete Flores (R-Pleasanton) of SD 19, meanwhile, represents a slightly more Democratic-leaning district with a TPI of D-55%.

Flores was also elected to his seat in 2018, but won the race during a special election a few months before the November general election.

Of the 16 state senate races in 2020, Flores’ seat has the greatest odds of changing parties.

The South Texas seats of SD 20 and SD 21 have the next highest chance of swapping representation, but both are still solidly Democratic with a TPI of D-59%.

All other districts on the ballot this year are rated above 60 percent favoring the party of the incumbent.

By the index’s rating, the most Republican senate district is SD 31, currently held by Sen. Kel Seliger (R-Amarillo), with a TPI of R-80%.

In contrast, the most Democratic district is SD 13, currently held by Sen. Borris Miles (D-Houston), with a TPI of D-84%.

The index can be viewed in the map or table below, or in a spreadsheet here.

Senate DistrictIncumbentOfficial TPI
StatewideR-56%
31Kel Seliger (R)R-80%
3Robert Nichols (R)R-79%
30Pat Fallon (R)R-76%
28Charles Perry (R)R-76%
1Bryan Hughes (R)R-75%
24Dawn Buckingham (R)R-72%
4Brandon Creighton (R)R-69%
22Brian Birdwell (R)R-69%
18Lois Kolkhorst (R)R-66%
12Jane Nelson (R)R-63%
2Bob Hall (R)R-63%
11Larry Taylor (R)R-62%
5Charles Schwertner (R)R-61%
25Donna Campbell (R)R-61%
7Paul Bettencourt (R)R-61%
8Angela Paxton (R)R-57%
9Kelly Hancock (R)R-56%
17Joan Huffman (R)R-54%
16Nathan Johnson (D)R-52%
10Beverly Powell (D)R-51%
19Pete Flores (R)D-55%
20Juan "Chuy" Hinojosa (D)D-59%
21Judith Zaffirini (D)D-59%
15John Whitmire (D)D-63%
26Jose Menendez (D)D-66%
27Eddie Lucio (D)D-67%
14Sarah Eckhardt (D)D-68%
29Jose Rodriguez (D)D-71%
6Carol Alvarado (D)D-72%
23Royce West (D)D-82%
13Borris Miles (D)D-84%

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Daniel Friend

Daniel Friend

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.