The Back MicThe Back Mic: Previous Margins of Victory for Statewide Incumbents Seeking Re-Election

This week — Here’s a list of the margins of victory for each statewide incumbent seeking re-election the last time they were on the ballot.
October 28, 2022

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Incumbents’ Margins of Victory from Previous Elections

Six of the seven statewide incumbents are seeking re-election this year. Only the land commissioner race is for an open seat, after George P. Bush decided to challenge Ken Paxton in the GOP primary for attorney general.

Eight years ago, Republicans experienced a red wave in the midterm of Barack Obama’s second term. Four years ago, Democrats benefited from a blue wave during Donald Trump’s term — even though none of the statewide candidates won, continuing their now-30-year drought of winning a statewide office.

According to The Texan’s Texas Partisan Index, the state is rated R-54%, meaning that based on past election results, it favors Republicans by an average of 8 points.

Below are the margins of victory for each of these statewide incumbents the last time they were on the ballot for their current positions.

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Gov. Greg Abbott

  • 2018: 13.3%, 1.1 million votes versus Lupe Valdez
  • 2014: 20.4%, 960,951 votes versus Wendy Davis

Lt. Governor Dan Patrick

  • 2018: 4.8%, 400,125 votes versus Mike Collier
  • 2014:  19.4%, 910,519 votes versus Leticia Van de Putte

Attorney General Ken Paxton

  • 2018: 3.6%, 295,109 votes versus Justin Nelson
  • 2014: 20.8%, 969,538 votes versus Sam Houston

Comptroller Glenn Hegar

  • 2018: 9.8%, 806,135 votes versus Joi Chevalier
  • 2014: 20.7%, 955,758 votes versus Mike Collier

Agriculture Commissioner Sid Miller

  • 2018: 4.9%, 399,390 votes versus Kim Olson
  • 2014: 21.8%, 1 million votes versus Jim Hogan

Railroad Commissioner Wayne Christian*

  • 2016: 14.7%, 1.3 million votes versus Grady Yarbrough

*Railroad Commissioners serve 6-year terms and Christian’s seat was last up in 2016.

**The Land Commissioner seat is open.


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Brad Johnson

Brad Johnson is a senior reporter for The Texan and an Ohio native who graduated from the University of Cincinnati in 2017. He is an avid sports fan who most enjoys watching his favorite teams continue their title drought throughout his cognizant lifetime. In his free time, you may find Brad quoting Monty Python productions and trying to calculate the airspeed velocity of an unladen swallow.