Greenberg Traurig is pleased to provide this overview of the 2016 National & Texas General Election results. Below is a snapshot of the most closely-watched contests plus a summary of outcomes for the Texas Congressional delegation, Texas Statewide offices, and Texas House and Senate for the 85th Legislature, which will convene on Jan. 10, 2017.
Donald Trump will be the 45th President of the United States after securing at least 279 electoral votes (as of this writing). Hillary Clinton narrowly won the popular vote with 59.6 million votes compared to 59.4 million for Trump.
There were 1.4 million fewer ballots cast nationwide than in the 2012 election, despite predictions that there would be record voter turnout in this election.
In Texas, Trump received 52.39 percent of the vote compared to 43.34 percent for Clinton, which was the lowest margin of victory for the GOP nominee in Texas in twenty years.
Demographically, Clinton performed worse among minority groups and younger voters than Obama did in 2012.
This table summarizes the key demographic trends of the election:
United States Senate
Before the election, the Senate was composed of 54 Republicans, 44 Democrats, and 2 Independents. There were 34 seats up for election, with Republicans defending 24 and Democrats 10. Despite numerous forecasts that the Democrats would gain enough seats to take power in the Senate, those predictions proved to be flawed, as Republicans retained control by securing 51 seats to 48 for the Democrats, with 1 race still undecided.
With regard to the Texas Delegation, neither Senior U.S. Senator John Cornyn (R) nor Junior U.S. Senator Ted Cruz (R) were on the ballot. Sen. Cruz’s seat will be up next in 2018 and Sen. Cornyn’s seat will up in 2020.
United States House of Representatives
Prior to this election, there were 246 Republicans to 186 Democrats in the U.S. House, with 3 vacant seats. As expected, Republicans retained control of the U.S. House with 239 confirmed seats to 193 confirmed for the Democrats, with 3 races still undecided.
The Texas Delegation for the 115th U.S. Congress will consist of 25 Republican members and 11 Democratic members. Each Congressional incumbent who sought reelection retained their seats, and the Texas delegation will have one new member, Jodey Arrington (R), who won the TX-19 seat formerly held by Randy Neugebauer (R).
U.S. House District 23 was considered the only competitive Congressional race in Texas, where Republican incumbent Will Hurd defeated Democrat Pete Gallego 48.4 percent to 46.8 percent.
Texas Statewide Offices1
All statewide elected offices in Texas will continue to be held by Republicans, as three Texas Supreme Court seats and one spot on the Texas Railroad Commission were won by the GOP candidates. All other statewide offices were not on the ballot in this cycle.
Texas Supreme Court
- Place 3 – (R) Debra Lehrmann* def. (D) Mike Westergren 55% to 39%
- Place 5 – (R) Paul Green* def. (D) Dori Contreras Garza 54% to 41%
- Place 9 – (R) Eva Guzman* def. (D) Savannah Robinson 56% to 39%
Texas Railroad Commission
- Republican Wayne Christian (former Texas House member) was elected to fill an open position on the Texas Railroad Commission.
For the 85th Legislature, there will be 20 Republicans and 11 Democrats in the Senate, thus keeping the partisan makeup of the upper chamber the same as it was last session.
There is only one swing seat in the Senate, SD 10, held by Sen. Konnie Burton, who is not up for reelection until 2018. There was one race expected to be competitive in this election:
- SD 24 – (R) Dawn Buckingham def. (D) Virginia “Jennie Lou” Leeder, 73 percent to 27 percent.
Texas House of Representatives
All 150 members of the Texas House are up for re-election every two-year cycle. There will be 95 Republicans and 55 Democrats in the TX House for the 85th Legislature.
Prior to this election, there were 99 Republicans, 50 Democrats, and 1 Independent.
There were 23 nonreturning members this year: Aycock, Crownover, Farias, Farney, Fletcher, Harless, Hughes, Keffer, S. King, McClendon, Marquez, Martinez-Fisher, Miles, D. Miller, Naishtat, Otto, Riddle, Simpson, W. Smith, Spitzer, Scott Turner, Sylvester Turner, and M. White. Among those members, 9 were sitting House Committee Chairs.
The following House seats had competitive races with both R and D challengers:
- HD 23 – (R) Wayne Faircloth* def. (D) Lloyd Criss, 59 percent to 41 percent.
- HD 43 – (R) J.M. Lozano* def. (D) Marisa Yvette Garcia-Utley 61 percent to 39 percent.
- HD 47 – (R) Paul Workman* def (D) Ana Jordan 54 percent to 42 percent.
- HD 54 – (R) Scott Cosper def. (D) Sandra Blankenship, 55 percent to 45 percent.
- HD 102 – (R) Linda Koop* def. (D) Laura Irvin, 55 percent to 45 percent.
- HD 105 – (R) Rodney Anderson* def. (D) Terry Meza, 50 percent to 49 percent.
- HD 107 – (D) Victoria Neave def. (R) Kenneth Sheets*, 51 percent to 49 percent.
- HD 113 – (R) Cindy Burkett* def. (D) Rhetta Andrews Bowers, 55 percent to 45 percent.
- HD 114 – (R) Jason Villalba* def. (D) Jim Burke, 56 percent to 40 percent.
- HD 115 – (R) Matt Rinaldi* def. (D) Dorotha Ocker, 51 percent to 49 percent.
- HD 117 – (D) Philip Cortez def. (R) Rick Galindo*, 51 percent to 49 percent.
- HD 118 – (D) Tomas Uresti def. (R) John Lujan*, 55 percent to 45 percent.
- HD 134 – (R) Sarah Davis* def. (D) Ben Rose, 54 percent to 43 percent.
- HD 135 – (R) Gary Elkins* def. (D) Jesse A. Ybanez 55 percent to 45 percent.
- HD 136 – (R) Tony Dale* def. (D) Paul R. Gordon, 55 percent to 45 percent.
- HD 144 – (D) Mary Ann Perez def. (R) Gilbert Pena*, 60 percent to 40 percent.
- City of Arlington – Prop 1 – Arlington voters approved a $500 million bond issuance to pay for half the cost of a new stadium for the Texas Rangers baseball club.
- City of Austin – Prop 1 – Austin voters approved a $720 million bond issuance for transportation improvement and mobility projects in various high-traffic corridors.
- City of Houston – Proposition 1 – Houstonians voted NOT to authorize the Houston Independent School District (HISD) to send recapture payments to the State as a part of the school finance system. As a result, the Texas Education Agency will detach certain commercial property from HISD and attach it to a different school district. This process has never occurred before, and some voters hoped a No vote would spur change to the current public school funding model.