Credit score…Scott McIntyre for The New York Occasions

The midterms formally start on Tuesday with the first election in Texas. There are a couple of key themes to regulate:

  • What is going to Democratic turnout be like within the first midterm of Biden’s presidency?

  • Hispanic voter turnout: Republicans exceeded expectations in garnering their help in 2020. Will that trend continue?

  • How effectively will Republican candidates endorsed by Donald Trump fare in opposition to equally Trumpy rivals?

In Texas, candidates solely win the occasion nomination in the event that they surpass 50 p.c of the first vote. If no one reaches 50 p.c on Tuesday, the highest two vote getters will advance to a runoff on Could 24.

For incumbents and high-profile candidates, the query can be who avoids a runoff and by how a lot. As an example, within the governor’s race, how effectively Gov. Greg Abbott fares in his Republican major can be a barometer of his power earlier than the final election. (For Beto O’Rourke, on the Democratic aspect, there’s little doubt he’ll sail to the nomination on Tuesday.)

Right here’s what we’ll be watching.

Abbott’s vindication?

Republicans who’ve declared themselves Trump’s most loyal supporters have been lining as much as tackle Abbott — although Abbott hasn’t allowed them a lot room. He’s spent the final yr attempting to show his pro-Trump bona fides, and his efforts earned him Trump’s endorsement.

Public polling is restricted, nevertheless it appears fairly clear that Abbott is the favourite, even when he isn’t assured to keep away from a runoff. He hit the 60 p.c mark in two recent polls, together with his Republican opponents — Don Huffines, a former state senator, and Allen West, a former state occasion chairman — floundering within the teenagers or single digits.

Abbot’s margin of victory, or whether or not he avoids a runoff and will get to begin the final election early, might sign the power of his incumbency.

Beto’s second probability

O’Rourke, the previous congressman, is more likely to win the Democratic nomination outright. He gained’t be the one title on the poll, however he’s the one candidate who’s a family title. The most recent batch of polling reveals him main by greater than 60 share factors.

The legal professional common’s race

Attorney General Ken Paxton is facing a challenge from Republicans together with Consultant Louie Gohmert; Eva Guzman, a former Texas Supreme Courtroom justice; and George P. Bush, the grandson of George H.W. Bush.

Like Abbott, Paxton has Trump’s endorsement. In contrast to Abbott, Paxton isn’t polling far above and past his Republican challengers. This race is more likely to go to a runoff.

A Democratic challenger within the Home

Jessica Cisneros’ major problem to Consultant Henry Cuellar is likely to be essentially the most consequential race of the evening.

Cisneros, who’s backed by progressives, is waging a rematch in opposition to Cuellar, a Democrat who has opposed abortion rights, after she fell narrowly brief within the 2020 major runoff. However, as Edgar Sandoval reported, conservative Democrats might have more luck in some parts of South Texas.

When the F.B.I. raided Cuellar’s dwelling and marketing campaign workplace earlier this yr, nevertheless, the political calculus shifted. The goal of the F.B.I. investigation stays unclear, and nationwide Republican teams are watching to see whether or not there’s a window for whoever emerges from the G.O.P. major.

The lone aggressive Home seat

There’s just one district that’s constructed to be really aggressive in 2022. However we in all probability gained’t know who’s working in it till the Could runoff.

Trump narrowly carried the newly drawn 15th District in 2020. Republicans count on Monica De La Cruz to be their nominee, even when she doesn’t win outright on Tuesday. The Democratic race is extra scattered, with a number of credible candidates, and can possible go to a runoff.


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