We are asked almost daily which, if any, new races are coming into play for Democrats that were previously thought out of reach.
At this late date, most competitive district level races have been identified. However, a new poll released yesterday shows that Democrat Stephen Daniel, who is running in North Texas-based Congressional District 6, is within the margin of error against incumbent Republican Ron Wright. Wright sits in a danger zone at only 45 percent support, with Daniel close behind at 41%. At the same time Joe Biden is leading Donald Trump in the District 46% to 45%.
The poll was conducted last week by the respected firm GBOA Strategies and has a margin of error of +/- 4.9%. A poll summary is linked here.
The new survey alone is encouraging, but there are several other factors favorable to Stephen Daniel too:
- Republican Ron Wright has barely campaigned. Wright has never been known as an aggressive campaigner and, instead, has relied on general goodwill built up from serving as an Arlington and Tarrant County local elected official. Poor health, and perhaps some other reasons, have prevented him from spending much time campaigning this cycle.
- Tarrant County is not a voter base for Ron Wright. Even though Wright is a former elected official in Tarrant County, the parts of the county in CD6 favor Stephen Daniel. Certainly, the City of Arlington is no longer a Republican stronghold. It was carried by both Hillary Clinton in 2016 and Beto O’Rourke in 2018, and even the 2018 CD6 Democratic nominee won a majority of the vote in Wright’s home county.
- CD6 overlaps with hotly contested State House races. Tarrant County is a major battleground for winning a Democratic majority in the State House. Five Republican-held State House seats are at risk, with strong Democratic candidates running in each. In addition, the Lone Star Project is leading a major effort to turn out the Democratic base within the five districts. All this activity should benefit Stephen Daniel.
- Ron Wright is a full-blown Donald Trump acolyte. While Ron Wright has a flat and even demeanor, he is a political devotee of Donald Trump, endorsing both his policies and Trump’s rude and divisive behavior. In fact, one of the few visible campaign moves Wright has made is sending a mailing to voters that promotes Trump almost more than Wright himself.
Congressional District 6 was drawn as part of a partisan gerrymander by Republicans and intended to be safe for a Republican candidate. However, changing demographics, the collapse of Texas Republicans to Trumpism, lackluster incumbent Ron Wright, impressive Democratic candidate Stephen Daniel, and help from down-ballot Democratic activity have brought the district into play in the last stages of the 2020 campaign.