|Looking at which PAC's candidates did the best, we found that moderate Republicans are still struggling, and the Tea Party is doing significantly better than one might think.
The table below summarizes the results of Texas legislative races where Texas Parent PAC, TLR, YCT and Empower Texans made endorsements.
Despite Parent PAC's effort to stand up to some of the more conservative voices who are slashing funding for public education, the social conservatives prevailed.
The conservative TLR PAC did the best of the bunch, with the most wins in legislative races. In contrast, Parent PAC fared the worst of the four, with the most losses.
YCT and Empower Texans, the most conservative PACs of the four, also did fairly well with 10 wins each. In addition, each was relatively successful at upending the Republican establishment, each unseating 5 incumbents. This flies in the face of the New York Times narrative of more moderate Republicans regaining control--establishment and moderate candidates are still struggling against the tide of "Tea Party" challengers.
What's more, the primary results made it very clear which side has the ideological edge in the Texas Legislature. Half of YCT and Empower Texans' victories were ousting more moderate Republican incumbents in favor of more conservative ones. Even the moderates who were victorious faced tough races, because of the conservative PACs' money and political clout.
YCT and Empower Texans' ability to oust incumbents they disagree with doesn't bode well for the remaining moderate Republicans in the Texas Legislature--they now know that disagreeing with the most conservative wing of the Republican Party could come at a steep price.
The only question that remains now how candidates facing runoffs will fare. Yet even if the remaining moderates rally, it's clear that the balance of power in the Legislature is still tipping toward the right.
As long as Republican primary voters are in charge of deciding who leads our state, it doesn't show signs of stopping.