Yes, even though new members of Congress haven't been sworn in, it's already time to look ahead to the next election cycle — and according to Nostradamus-on-the-Potomac Charlie Cook of the Cook Political Report, Democrats in Texas will have an uphill battle just get back to where they were before Nov. 2.
In his first competitive House race analysis for 2012, Cook only lists two Texas seats as potentially in play. CD-27, where Republican Blake Farenthold beat incumbent Democrat Solomon Ortiz Sr. by a narrow margin, is what Cook terms a "Republican toss-up," while CD-23, where Francisco Canseco ousted incumbent Democrat Ciro Rodriguez, is described as "Leans Republican." Nowhere on the list is CD-17, the longtime province of Democrat Chet Edwards, who was handily defeated by Republican Bill Flores; apparently Cook thinks the most Republican district in a America represented by a Democrat, as it was often referred to when Edward was in office, will be dead-set on remaining in the hands of its newly elected Republican.
Of course, none of this takes into the account the effect of congressional redistricting, which is on the agenda for the 2011 legislative session. Candidates in 2012 will represent the redrawn districts beginning in January 2013, including three or perhaps four additional ones added to the Texas delegation when 2010 Census numbers are finally tabulated.
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