If the state of Texas is going to turn blue some day, it is going to require more than opposing Dan Patrick to change the Lone Star State's political hue.
For example, the campaign of Mike Collier, the Democrat nominee for lieutenant governor who is facing Patrick, recently pointed out these three facts:
• "In the 2018 Texas primary, more voters chose Democrats or an alternative to Dan Patrick in the Lt. Governor election."
• "Patrick’s opponent endorsed Mike Collier and has actively campaigned on Collier’s behalf."
• "Democrats doubled their primary turnout from 2014, while the Lt. Governor saw an astounding 20 percent drop-off in votes from the gubernatorial primary race."
The numbers are accurate, but the meaning of these numbers can be interpreted differently.
In the 2018 GOP primary, Patrick got 1,172,830 votes. Combine the votes of his GOP opponent and the two candidates running in the Democrat primary, you get more than 1.3 million votes. There are two ways of looking at these numbers - Patrick's opponents got more votes than him or it took three candidates to eclipse Patrick's vote total by a meager 158,789 votes.
As for Patrick's GOP primary opponent endorsing Collier, Scott Milder received 368,995 votes - 23.93 percent. How many of these 368,995 Republicans actually consider voting for a Democrat for governor-lite remains to be seen - but is unlikely many will.
There were 962,624 votes cast in the 2018 Democrat primary for governor-lite. In the same 2014 primary, there were 451,822 votes. While it is true that there were less overall GOP primary votes in the governor-lite race from 2014 to 2018, Patrick's vote total actually increased, which is not a surprise since there were four candidates in the 2014 GOP primary, which led to a runoff.
What is of more significance is that Patrick cruised past his Democrat opponent in the 2014 general election by more than 910,000 votes, getting more than 58 percent.
Patrick's tenure as lieutenant governor has not been without controversy, and criticism of his leadership has been deserved, depending on the issue. However, Democrats have not won a statewide election in Texas since 1994 - the longest dry spell for Democrats anywhere in the nation. And it will take more than the aforementioned numbers to break this streak.