For our list of the most competitive legislative and congressional seats in the state, 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 nice loud color.
Yellow means there's trouble on the sidewalk. Orange is trouble on the front porch. Red is trouble walking in the door.
Incumbents' names are in bold. Open seats are rated by the apparent margin between top candidates (closer is hotter) and the threat to the incumbent party's hold on the district. Inside each color, the races are listed by district — not by heat.
This week, it all g0t real, with results to demonstrate which races should have been on the list and which ones really didn't belong. Two of five incumbent Democrats on the list survived, as did all three incumbent Republicans. Republicans won in all of the open seats, including in two that had belonged to lawmakers from the other party. Net: Republicans picked up one seat in the Texas congressional delegation, one in the state Senate (bringing them to 20) and three in the Texas House (bringing them to 98).