How the 'Beto Effect' influenced local elections

U.S. Senate candidate Rep. Beto O'Rourke campaigns at Bert Ogden Arena on Thursday, Oct. 18, 2018, in Edinburg, Texas. (Joel Martinez/The Monitor via AP)

BEXAR COUNTY, TX - Some are calling it the 'Beto Effect.'

Even though Congressman Beto O'Rourke narrowly lost to Ted Cruz in the senate race.

County Democrats here said O'Rourke gave them sweeping victories in the midterm.

Straight ticket voting gave them the edge.

Meaning at a click of the button you can vote for all one party on the ballot.

This midterm was the last election you could do it, after Governor Greg Abbott signed a bill to outlaw it starting in 2020.

Democrats said there was a 157% increase in straight ticket voting in yesterdays election compared to 2016.

They said O'Rourke's popularity helped other Democrats fighting for county positions get elected.

"He was there for the people," Democratic Party of Bexar County Chair Monica Alcantara said. "There's hope that you see in him."

Alcantara said Beto got people to the polls helping to secure 41 seats in Bexar County like DA Joe Gonzalez.

Alcantara said because of O'Rourke the straight ticket vote was up 157% for Democrats compared to last election.

"It was extremely instrumental of what you saw here in Bexar County," Alcantara said.

Democrats said after this midterm Texas is a battleground state for the 2020 Presidential election.

"Beto has now paved the way for that," Alcantara said.

"I think Texas is still solidly still in the Republican column," Republican Party of Bexar County Spokesperson George Rodriguez said.

While Republicans acknowledge the 'Beto Effect'.

They still said Texas will remain red.

With promising re-elections from Governor Greg Abbott and Senator Ted Cruz.

Republicans said they'll now focus on public outreach making sure Texas doesn't turn Democrat in 2020.

While Democrats hope the state turns blue for the first time in decades.

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