By Glenn Lemunyon, DSC’s Washington Advisor

Politics matter, and nowhere else in the country is this being tested more than in Texas where there has been a tremendous influx of people over the last decade.

After gaining almost 400,000 new residents in one year, Texas is now home to 28.7 million people as of December 2017. While Texans generally welcome these newcomers, many do not have the same values that multigenerational Texans hold near and dear. This may be why we are seeing several Congressional races around the state becoming competitive where in the past they have not been.

Jim Henson, who directs the Texas Politics Project, lays it out nicely. The rest of the nation cares about what happens in Texas for two major reasons:

First, because of its large population, Texas has the second largest Congressional delegation in the House of Representatives, which of course gives Texas a large voice in one of the chambers of the body that writes laws for the entire country. From that large delegation, Texas also has many Full Committee and Subcommittee chairmen that decide what legislations moves forward.

Second, Henson points out that Texas has a large voice in the national political conversation, particularly though the Republican Party. In recent years, conservative policy ideas are often developed or tested early in Texas. The State constitutional amendment effort for the right to hunt and fish for example is now being copied in other states.

Don’t believe the media hype! Take a moment and learn the truth about each candidate’s positions and opinions. The fact is, even if Democrats were to win every single 2018 House and Senate race for seats representing places that Hillary Clinton won or that Trump won by less than 3 percentage points in Texas, which would be a pretty good midterm election outcome by historical standards, they could still fall short of the House majority and lose five Senate seats. This is partly attributable to the nature of House districts: GOP-favorable congressional district lines and Democratic voters’ clustering in urban districts. These two factors have moved the median House seat well to the right of the nation. Further, part of it is bad timing. Democrats must defend 25 of their 48 seats while Republicans must defend just eight of their 52.

But Texas aside, every vote in every state matters. If you care about the rights of hunters and anglers, get out and vote. If you care about government infringing on your rights, vote for the candidate that has a proven track record of protecting those rights.

Enough with the election specifics! It is important to take the time to vote for those candidates that support initiatives important to you and the Club. Every vote matters. You do not want to be sitting on your couch the evening of November