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Will GOP Infighting Help Democrats Flip Seats?

2023 was marked with GOP infighting, from property tax relief, and vouchers, to impeaching attorney generals and calling their house speaker to resign, the Republican party intra-fighting became very public.

In their latest feud,  the Texas GOP’s executive committee voted 55-4 to censure House Speaker Dade Phelan, a Republican. The committee cited five instances for the censure, including Paxton’s impeachment, the appointment of Democratic committee chairs, and concerns related to border security and educational freedom, as reported by Axios. 

Phelan, who had previously urged the GOP to distance itself from internal “rot,” has faced calls from state and national party members, including former President Trump, to step down.

In response, Phelan’s spokesperson, Cait Wittman, criticized the executive committee, accusing them of hypocrisy for censuring Phelan while previously welcoming a group of Neo-Nazis and refusing to disassociate from anti-Semitic groups. Wittman argued that the committee had lost its moral authority and no longer represented the views of the party as a whole.

Paxton has not been able to escape his legal problems. On Friday, he will be in Houston court to face a nearly 9-year-old securities fraud case, which he is now seeking to dismiss.

Meanwhile, he has not stopped attacking what he believes are “RINOs.” He recently went after Sen. John Cornyn on X/Twitter, criticizing him for sending $95 billion to help other countries with their border problems. 

“Unbelievable that @JohnCornyn would stay up all night to defend other countries borders, but not America,” AG Paxton posted.

Sen. Cornyn clapped back: “Ken, your criminal defense lawyers are calling to suggest you spend less time pushing Russian propaganda and more time defending longstanding felony charges against you in Houston, as well as ongoing federal grand jury proceedings in San Antonio that will probably result in further criminal charges.”

While social media feuds are not uncommon amongst legislators, it seems the GOP has taken their intraparty fighting to another level. It remains to be seen how this internal discord may impact upcoming elections.

With Gov. Greg Abbott focusing so intently on unseating GOP members within his own party, fueled by the fact that they voted against his voucher proposal back in November, Democrats may see this as an opportunity to exploit divisions and potentially flip seats.

According to Bob Stein, a political science professor at Rice University, an open seat takes away the incumbent seat advantage for either party.

“Should the Republican incumbent be defeated, what have you created? You have created an open seat. Where is a democrat more likely to take a Republican seat or vice versa: when the seat is open,” Stein told RA News.

So, could Democrats capitalize on the disarray within the Republican Party to appeal to voters seeking stability and unity?

Written by RA News staff.


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