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Tonight voters in Georgia select candidates in primaries throughout the states, while Texans will decide the winners in several runoffs where no office-seeker took 50 percent of the vote in the May primary. Our roundup of key races is below. Also be sure to vote in the poll at the bottom of this post. But first, here are interactive maps of Texas's new congressional districts to help you follow along, one of the northern part of the state and one of the southern:

Interactive map of northern Texas's new congressional districts
Interactive map of southern Texas's new congressional districts
TX-Sen (R): The Republican primary in the open seat race to succeed the retiring Kay Bailey Hutchison has, up until a few weeks ago, always felt like David Dewhurst's race to lose. Dewhurst is the state's lieutenant governor, a well-known long-time fixture in the state's Republican establishment—and, on top of that, he's wealthy enough to self-fund if things got hairy. Dewhurst finished a pretty easy first place in the primary in late May, getting 45 percent; with the endorsement of third-place finisher Tom Leppert, the closest thing to a "moderate" in the field, that should have been enough to get Dewhurst over the top in the runoff. However, tea party types (both locally, and their Beltway orchestrators) are none too keen on Dewhurst, and it seems like the all the momentum since the runoff has gone to Dewhurst's runoff rival, former state Solicitor General Ted Cruz—who has a pretty establishment background himself (including clerking for William Rehnquist) but who does seem to have a better command of right-wing dog-whistle phrases.

Groups like the Club for Growth have helped Cruz maintain something close to financial parity, while the Sarah Palins and Jim DeMints of the world have publicly stumped on Cruz's behalf. The most recent public poll of the race—a PPP poll released Monday—shows a remarkable reversal from the May primary; they find Cruz leading Dewhurst 52-42, thanks to a 75-22 margin among those who consider themselves tea partiers. Dewhurst also released an internal on Monday giving himself a small lead, but at this point, a Dewhurst victory in the runoff would have to be considered a surprise, which is something that no one would have expected a month ago. (David Jarman)

Head below the fold for the rest of our writeups.

TX-14 (R): State Rep. Randy Weber, who took 28 percent on primary night, appears to be the favorite over Pearland City Councilwoman Felicia Harris, who finished with 19 percent as a big nine-candidate field split the vote. Not only did he out-poll her, but Weber's also outraised Harris, though both have self-funded to the tune of about a quarter mil. Weber seems to be more of the establishment pick while Harris is a bit more tea-flavored, though both are very conservative. As with all of these Texas House runoffs, there hasn't been any polling. The winner will take on Democrat ex-Rep. Nick Lampson, who is hoping for a third trip to Congress, in November. (David Nir)

TX-25 (R): Lots of primaries this year feature an establishment Republican versus a tea-flavored outsider, and in this one, the fault lines couldn't be any clearer. The two candidates who advanced from the May primary were Roger Williams—a wealthy car dealer who also served as Texas's secretary of state (not an elected position in Texas) and who briefly ran for Senate before dropping down to this race—and Wes Riddle, a veteran who's run in but never won a few long shot-races before, and who's apparently from the Ron Paul wing of the GOP (in fact, his one potentially valuable chit is that he has Paul's endorsement). Williams seems like he should be an easy favorite on paper—factoring in not just his money, but that Riddle seems fringey even by tea party standards (his biggest claim to fame may be his interest in foreign-policy conspiracy theories like the seven Arctic Ocean islands allegedly "given away" to Russia by Barack Obama)—but without any polling (and given that we are talking about rural Texas here), Riddle can't be written off yet. (David Jarman)

TX-23 (D): After edging state Rep. Pete Gallego by a 46-40 margin in the first round, ex-Rep. Ciro Rodriguez is hoping that his residual name recognition will be enough to stave off the superior fundraising operation of Gallego. (In the 10-day pre-runoff period, though, it's worth noting that Rodriguez actually outraised Gallego by $12K to $5K—but Gallego still outspent Ciro by a 7-to-1 margin.) Gallego's also earned the endorsements of San Antonio Mayor Julian Castro and brother/congressional candidate/state Rep. Julián Castro, which could help him gain some ground in Bexar County. On the other hand, Rodriguez picked up the endorsements of third-place finisher John Bustamante, and—at the 11th hour—Bill Clinton. Additionally, the independent expenditure cashflow, which heavily favored Gallego in the first round, has been largely quiet in the runoff. (James L)

TX-33 (D): Democratic state Rep. Marc Veasey and former Democratic state Rep. Domingo Garcia face off for the right to carry the party flag in a safely Democratic Dallas-Fort Worth district; whoever comes out on top is going to Congress in January. The race is particularly interesting as it pits an African-American candidate with a Tarrant County base (Veasey) against a Hispanic candidate with a Dallas County base (Garcia). Veasey has proven to be the superior fundraiser by far, but Garcia's personal fortune has canceled much of that out. Ultimately the race should turn on whether one candidate can run up turnout in his own county base, while keeping margins close in his competitor's county. Veasey ran first in the initial primary with 37 percent, to 25 percent for Garcia, but both are a long way to 50 percent+1. (Arjun Jaikumar)

TX-34 (D): Though not numbered the same, this majority-Hispanic district is awfully similar to Solomon Ortiz' old district, and indeed, one of the candidates in the runoff is a longtime Ortiz staffer, Denise Saenz Blanchard. She faces off against a wealthy attorney and scion of a federal judge and a former Brownsville mayor, Filemon Vela. Vela has a famous name, but has been dogged by accusations that he is overly Republican-friendly (his wife has run for judge as a Republican in the past, and Vela has supported other Republican candidates in the past, including Kay Bailey Hutchison). Vela won over 40 percent of the vote in the first round, and has been the superior fundraiser even aside from the considerable personal contributions he has made to his campaign. (Arjun Jaikumar)

TX-36 (R): One of the most low-profile contests of the night may well also be the closest, when all is said and done. After all, on primary night nine weeks ago, self-funding businessman Stephen Takach parlayed his cash-flush campaign into first place and a spot in the runoff. But that "lead" was one of just 350 votes. The man who came in second place is a familiar name to political junkies: Steve Stockman. Stockman was one of the most unlikely members of the class of 1994, dispatching four-decade Democratic incumbent Jack Brooks. An ill fit for a swing district, he was gone in one term, knocked off by Nick Lampson. Should he win Tuesday night, this newly drawn East Texas seat is so far to the right that he'll need only concern himself with primary challenges. However, his name recognition is being more than offset by Takach's money: Stockman was being outspent about 6-to-1. (Steve Singiser)

GA-09 (R): Three Republicans are vying for the open Gainesville-based 9th District, given that incumbent Tom Graves is seeking reelection in the new 14th district: radio host Martha Zoller, Gainesville-area state Rep. Doug Collins, and middle school teacher Roger Fitzpatrick. The real race is between Zoller and Collins (Fitzpatrick hasn't filed any FEC reports). Collins seems to claim the establishment mantle while Zoller claims the tea party's. This shows through in their fundraising, with Collins having the fundraising and spending edge. Whoever emerges from the primary will almost certainly cruise to victory in this 75 percent McCain district. (jeffmd)

GA-12 (R): Republicans in the Georgia legislature did Democrats no favors, drawing John Barrow into a 56 percent McCain district. Sensing opportunity, four Republicans—businessman Rick Allen, state Rep. Lee Anderson, attorney Wright McLeod, and attorney Maria Sheffield—jumped into the race. The main race seems to be among Allen, Anderson, and McLeod, each of whom has fundraised competitively. Allen's sunk some of his own cash into the campaign, loaning it at least $150,000 since July 1st. Given the competition and likely possibility that no one will reach 50 percent + 1, the winner might not be determined tonight. (jeffmd)

Originally posted to Daily Kos Elections on Tue Jul 31, 2012 at 09:03 AM PDT.

Also republished by Kos Georgia and Daily Kos.


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