Democrats still do not have any statewide officeholders — and their numbers in those races were dismal. But they held their ground in the state Senate, gained seven seats in the Texas House, split the four new seats in Congress and wrested another one away from the red team. The rebound from the disastrous 2010 election was not dramatic, but a gain is a gain.
Democrats have enough players to stay in the game in the Texas Senate, unless the chamber’s Republican majority changes a rule that generally requires approval from two-thirds of the senators to take up any piece of legislation. Anyone with 11 votes can block a bill, most of the time. It is not always a partisan thing, but when it is, the Democrats come into the session with 12 votes.
Republicans and many political observers dismiss Texas Democrats as a disorganized and unfocused group of partisans who have not proved themselves as a legislative force. But infighting within the Republican ranks could produce opportunities for coalitions — Democrats and moderates, for instance — and gradually, for more seats in the Legislature.