How Beto O’Rourke shifted the map in Texas

Over 8.3 million Texans voted in the 2018 midterm elections. It’s an astounding figure, especially considering that about 4.6 million voted in the midterms just four years ago. That difference — almost 3.7 million — says a lot about the changing face of the Lone Star State, but Tuesday’s result says more. Yes, Texas is growing, but as of 2018, it’s still red and still likes Ted.

But let’s back up for a moment. The Democratic Senate candidate in Texas, Rep. Beto O’Rourke, came within 3 percentage points of defeating Sen. Ted Cruz, which is close enough to put Texas at the center of two of the big post-election questions: Is Texas a swing state? And will O’Rourke run for president?

So what really happened in Texas? Let’s start with the basics.