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The Texas Weekly Hot List

With early voting upon us, a handful of races have changed position on the Hotlist this week, and here's a spoiler: At least a dozen are nearly certain to go to runoffs on July 31.

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Early voting is upon us. The candidates are jumping up and down to get attention, spending money and trying to figure out how many of us will vote. And which ones. The Hotlist is almost ridiculously long (75 races!), but it's a redistricting year and also an election year with a large number of freshmen defending their seats — a time when candidates are often vulnerable.

We count 33 races that will be decided no matter what on May 29; the rest of them have at least a chance of a July 31 runoff. In a dozen — because of the number of candidates — it's almost a certainty.

You know the drill: We lifted the color scheme from the inventors of the federal terror watch, ranking districts by the threat to each incumbent, to the incumbent party, or just by the level of interest in and heat generated by a particular race, then assigning each group a garish color.

Yellow means there's trouble on the sidewalk.

Orange is trouble on the front porch.

Red is trouble walking in the door.

Open seats are rated by the apparent margin between top candidates (closer is hotter). 

Incumbents are indicated with this: (i). A printable version is attached as a .pdf file.

This is certainly and intentionally subject to argument, and we'll revise and adjust each week, based on interviews, our reporting and your feedback through the May 29 primary. Let us know what you think.

Changes this week: Added HD-2, HD-80; promoted HD-43, HD-59, HD-137; and demoted HD-98.


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2012 elections