Texas State GOP Majority to Shrink; Lean More Conservative

Tuesday, 03 Apr 2012 11:29 AM

By Robert Engler

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An Austin American-Statesman newspaper analysis of the upcoming Texas legislative elections suggests the Republican majority will lose seats in November and likely become more conservative.
 
Republicans currently hold a 102-48 majority in the state House of Representatives. Officials of both parties predict the GOP will continue to hold the House after the November elections, but agree the majority will be significantly smaller.

Republicans are predicting a majority of seats in the range of the mid-90s, while Democrats put the numbers at about an 84-66 split.

Cal Jillson, a political science professor at Southern Methodist University, told the American-Statesman the GOP majority would probably be closer to 90. He said Republicans were unable to protect all their seats during the redistricting process, leading to the creation of more minority districts that tend to vote Democratic.

Because of the changes, Republicans are expected to lose a number of seats now held by moderates in their party to Democrats. Still, their conservative makeup in the House is expected to remain strong because voters tend to favor more conservative candidates over moderates in primary races.

As a result, Jillson and other political observers said they believe the smaller Republican majority could end up being even more conservative.

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