The Spectacle Blog

Texas Recap: Romney Wins, Dewhurst and Cruz Fight On

By on 5.30.12 | 11:36AM

Texas is a big state, and some big things happened during its primary last night. To recap:

1. Mitt Romney clinched the nomination.There will still be some quibbling over the official delegate count, but for all intents and purposes Romney secured the Republican presidential nomination last night. The party has increasingly treated him as such ever since Rick Santorum dropped out, but qualifications like "presumptive" or "likely" nominee are no longer necessary. Romney's 69 percent to 12 percent margin over Ron Paul, who has represented the Lone Star State in the House for twelve terms, is nothing to sneeze at.

2. Ted Cruz forced David Dewhurst into a runoff. This will be the next primary painted as a Tea Party versus Republican establishment battle. Dewhurst won the first round with less than 45 percent of the vote to Cruz' 34 percent. Just a shade more than five points better and Dewhurst would be the nominee. But runoffs frequently produce different results than the first round and the lower turnout is thought to favor Cruz. The next round occurs in late July.

3. Silvestrie Reyes was defeated. We have heard a lot about Tea Partiers taking out Republican incumbents recently. Here's a case where an incumbent Democrat fell to a congressional primary challenger. Reyes was criticized for being ineffective and out of touch. Challenger Beto O’Rourke managed to avoid a runoff with Reyes by winning 50.5 percent of the vote.

4. Ralph Hall holds firm. Hall, a conservative Democrat turned conservative Republican, is now the oldest member of Congress at 89. He easily held off a primary challenger last night.

5. No anti-Obama protest vote in the Democratic primary. Texas didn't follow states like Arkansas and West Virginia in embarrassing Barack Obama. The president won the Texas primary with 88.2 percent of the vote. This shouldn't be too surprising, however. Unlike the aforementioned states, most white conservatives have left the Texas Democratic Party.

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