Karl Rove’s article on a special election for a House seat in the Texas State Legislature is a positive bit of news for Republicans. The article starts by saying “While many Americans were focused on Washington this week, I was paying special attention to Fort Bend County, Texas. What took place in that Houston suburb may reveal more about the 2020 election than the impeachment trial in the Senate does.”

It continues by saying “Fort Bend held a special runoff election to fill a vacant state House seat left open by the resignation of the Republican incumbent, who took a job with the University of Texas. Sensing an opening, state and national Democrats decided a win in House District 28 would give them a head start on flipping the nine seats they’d need to control the Texas House and boost their efforts to overturn GOP state legislative majorities from Arizona to Florida, Wisconsin to Pennsylvania and a dozen states in between.”

Next, let’s skip to the part about how badly Democrats wanted to flip this seat:

Democrats, eager to set the tone for 2020, piled into the race with money, endorsements, technology, lists and volunteers to help Elizabeth Markowitz defeat her Republican opponent. Joe Biden, Elizabeth Warren and Mike Bloomberg all endorsed Ms. Markowitz. Mr. Bloomberg even carved out time from his presidential campaign to go door-to-door with her. Former presidential candidates Julián Castro and Robert Francis O’Rourke also canvassed neighborhoods, Mr. O’Rourke so frequently that it looked as if he was trying to establish residency.

How effective were the Democrats’ efforts? This effective:

All these hopes of a Democratic victory were shattered Tuesday. In the biggest turnout in history for a Texas House special runoff, Republican Gary Gates walloped Ms. Markowitz 58% to 42%. His 16-point margin of victory was more than twice the Republican incumbent’s in 2018 and larger than the district margins for President Trump in 2016 (10 points) and Sen. Ted Cruz in 2018 (three).

If that’s the best they can do after sinking that many resources into a special election, Democrats should be worried. Of course, Democrats will spin this by saying ‘That’s a GOP district. We thought it was a longshot from the start.’

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