United States Senate elections in Texas, 2012

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2012 U.S. Senate Elections in Texas

CandidatesPollsElection History

November 6 Election Winner:
Ted Cruz Republican Party
Incumbent prior to election:
Kay Bailey Hutchison Republican Party
Kay Bailey Hutchison.jpg

Cook Political Report Race Rating
     Solid R (Prior to election)

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2012 U.S. House Elections

Flag of Texas.png
Voters in Texas elected one member to the U.S. Senate in the November 6, 2012 elections.

Ted Cruz (R) won election to the U.S. Senate on November 6, 2012.[1]

Candidate Filing Deadline Primary Election General Election
March 9, 2012
May 29, 2012
November 6, 2012

Primary: Texas has an open primary system, in which any registered voter can choose which party's primary to vote in, without having to be a member of that party. Texas also scheduled a primary runoff for July 31, 2012.

Voter registration: Voters had to register to vote in the primary by April 30.[2] For the runoff on July 31, 2012, the vote registration deadline was July 2. For the general election, the voter registration deadline was October 9.[3]

See also: Texas elections, 2012

Incumbent: The election filled the Class 1 Senate seat, which was previously held by Kay Bailey Hutchison (R). First elected in 1993, Hutchinson did not run for re-election in 2012.[4]

* Redistricting note: Due to legal turmoil in the redistricting process, filing deadlines were changed twice, and the primary date changed once. The original filing deadline was December 12th.[5] That deadline was first moved to December 15th and then December 19th by a federal court due to delays caused by redistricting legal challenges. When a final map was issued, the December 19th deadline was once again moved to March 9th to allow candidates more time to file in light of the delays and map ambiguities. The primary date was first moved from March 6 to April 3 before finally settling on May 29.[6]


General election candidates

Democratic PartyPaul Sadler
Republican PartyTed CruzGreen check mark transparent.png
Libertarian PartyJohn Jay Myers
Green PartyDavid Collins

July 31, 2012, primary runoff

Democratic Party Democratic candidates

Republican Party Republican candidates

May 29, 2012, primary results

Democratic Party Democratic Primary

Republican Party Republican Primary

Libertarian Party Libertarian Convention

Green Party Green Party Convention

Independent Independent candidates

Election results

General Election

U.S. Senate, Texas General Election, 2012
Party Candidate Vote % Votes
     Republican Green check mark transparent.pngTed Cruz 56.5% 4,440,137
     Democratic Paul Sadler 40.6% 3,194,927
     Libertarian John Jay Myers 2.1% 162,354
     Green David B. Collins 0.9% 67,404
Total Votes 7,864,822
Source: Texas Secretary of State "Official Election Results, 2012 General Election"

Primary election

Paul Sadler defeated Grady Yarbrough in the Democratic primary runoff election on July 31, 2012.[14]

U.S. Senate Runoff Election, Texas Democratic Primary, 2012
Candidate Vote % Votes
Green check mark transparent.pngPaul Sadler 63% 148,940
Grady Yarbrough 37% 87,365
Total Votes 236,305

On July 31, 2012, Ted Cruz won the Republican nomination for U.S. Senate, defeating David Dewhurst in the primary runoff election.[15]

U.S. Senate Runoff Election, Texas Republican Primary, 2012
Candidate Vote % Votes
Green check mark transparent.pngTed Cruz 56.8% 631,812
David Dewhurst 43.2% 480,126
Total Votes 1,111,938

Race background

Republican incumbent Kay Bailey Hutchison's decision to not seek re-election in 2012, after nearly 20 years occupying the Senate seat, drew a broad field of hopeful successors to the race to fill the open seat.[16]

Both the Democratic and Republican primaries, held on May 29, were too close to decide which candidates would advance to the general election as their parties' nominees. As a result, a primary runoff election was held on July 31st.

The Democratic and Republican primary runoffs featured Paul Sadler against Grady Yarbrough, and Ted Cruz against Lieutenant Governor David Dewhurst, respectively.

In the especially heated GOP runoff election, Tea Party darling Cruz defeated Dewhurst for the Republican nomination. On the other side of the aisle, Sadler emerged as his party's victory. Cruz and Sadler faced off in the general election on November 6, 2012, along with a host of third party candidates, including: John Jay Myers, David Collins, Victoria Ann Zabaras, Lorenzo Morales, Craig Couvillion, Michael Edward Champion and Michael Powell (Texas).


January 12, 2012

Five Republican candidates for the senate seat had their first debate in Austin on January 12.[17] Ted Cruz, former state solicitor general, accused Texas Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst of being an unprincipled career politician. Dewhurst said he would draw on his legislative experience to help balance the federal budget. Businessman and former Dallas Mayor Tom Leppert emphasized his 33-page plan for spending reforms. Funeral home director Glenn Addison and NFL player and commentator Craig James both stressed their dedication to the U.S. Constitution. The debate was sponsored by two groups: Texas Public Policy Foundation and Empower Texans.[18]


According to The New York Times' analysis of the 2012 Senate elections, the Texas Senate race was rated as solid Republican.[19]

Race rating

Cook Political Report

Each month the Cook Political Report releases race ratings for President, U.S. Senate, U.S. House (competitive only) and Governors. There are seven possible designations:[20]

     Solid Democratic
     Likely Democratic
     Lean Democratic


     Lean Republican
     Likely Republican
     Solid Republican

Cook Political Report Race Rating -- Texas Senate
Month Rating
October 4, 2012[21]     
September 13, 2012[22]     
August 21, 2012[23]     
July 12, 2012[24]     
May 31, 2012[25]     
May 10, 2012[26]     
March 22, 2012[27]     
March 1, 2012[28]     
January 26, 2012[29]     
December 22, 2011[30]     
December 1, 2011[31]     

Election history


On November 7, 2006, Kay Bailey Hutchison won re-election to the U.S. Senate, defeating Barbara Ann Radnofsky (D) and Scott Lanier Jameson (L).[32]

U.S. Senate General Election, Texas, 2006
Party Candidate Vote % Votes
     Republican Green check mark transparent.pngKay Bailey Hutchison Incumbent 61.7% 2,661,789
     Democratic Barbara Ann Radnofsky 36% 1,555,202
     Libertarian Scott Lanier Jameson 2.3% 97,672
Total Votes 4,314,663

See also

External links


  1. Politico, "2012 Election Map, Texas," November 6, 2012
  2. Texas Secretary of State, "2012 Primary Election Calendar," accessed July 27, 2012
  3. Texas Secretary of State, "You Must Register By...," accessed July 27, 2012
  4. Politico, "KBH won't run for re-election," January 13, 2011
  5. Texas Secretary of State, "Important 2012 Election Dates," accessed July 15, 2011
  6. Washington Post, "Federal court orders May 29 primary date for Texas in redistricting case
  7. 7.0 7.1 Harris County Democratic Party, "2012 March Primary Candidates," accessed January 6, 2012
  8. 8.0 8.1 8.2 8.3 8.4 8.5 Fort Worth Star-Telegram, "Candidate filings for Tarrant, state primary races are over - for now," accessed January 6, 2012
  9. Tomball Magnolia Tribune News, "Addison announces candidacy for Senate," accessed January 6, 2012
  10. Collin County Independent Examiner, "The Saddle Up Texas 2012 Straw Poll - Jan 12-14, Huston Texas," accessed January 6, 2012
  11. Curt Cleaver campaign website, "Curt Cleaver Announces Run for U.S. Senate," accessed January 6, 2012
  12. Texas GOP candidates
  13. Texas Libertarian Party, "Candidate list," accessed July 18, 2012 (dead link)
  14. Texas Secretary of State, "Race Summary Report-2012 Democratic Party Primary Runoff," accessed August 30, 2012
  15. Texas Secretary of State, "Race Summary Report-2012 Republican Party Primary Runoff," accessed August 30, 2012
  16. Politico, "KBH won't run for re-election," January 13, 2011
  17. Houston Chronicle, "Texas Republican candidates hold first debate," January 12, 2012
  18. Austin American-Statesman, "Dewhurst on defensive during first Texas U.S. Senate debate," January 12, 2012
  19. The New York Times, "2012 Senate race ratings," accessed September 17, 2012
  20. Cook Political Report, "Our Accuracy," accessed December 12, 2011 (dead link)
  21. Cook Political Report, "2012 SENATE RACE RATINGS," October 4, 2012
  22. Cook Political Report, "2012 SENATE RACE RATINGS," September 13, 2012
  23. Cook Political Report, "2012 SENATE RACE RATINGS," August 21, 2012
  24. Cook Political Report, "2012 SENATE RACE RATINGS," July 12, 2012
  25. Cook Political Report, "2012 SENATE RACE RATINGS," May 31, 2012
  26. Cook Political Report, "2012 SENATE RACE RATINGS," May 10, 2012
  27. Cook Political Report, "2012 SENATE RACE RATINGS," March 22, 2012
  28. Cook Political Report, "2012 SENATE RACE RATINGS," March 1, 2012
  29. Cook Political Report, "2012 SENATE RACE RATINGS," January 26, 2012
  30. Cook Political Report, "2012 SENATE RACE RATINGS," December 27, 2011
  31. Cook Political Report, "2012 SENATE RACE RATINGS," December 1, 2011
  32. U.S. Congress House Clerk, "Statistics of the Congressional Election of November 7, 2006," accessed March 28, 2013