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Photo: Valenzuela Campaign, Adobe Spark
Photo: Valenzuela Campaign, Adobe Spark

Candace Valenzuela is closer to flipping her district, with a lead in recent polls

Pre-election polls show Candace Valenzuela with a commanding lead over her opponent Kim Olson.

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Today is the last day to cast an early ballot for the Democratic run-off race in Texas’ 24th Congressional District, and pre-election polls show Candace Valenzuela might just flip her district on July 14.

Black and Latinx turnout at the polls is playing a major role in deciding a winner, especially in Texas, a state that has recently found itself in the position as a swing state. 

Heading into November, Texas will be one of the biggest battleground states in the nation.

Valenzuela is the only Latina challenger running in Texas for this cycle. If elected to Congress, she could become the first Black Latina woman elected to Congress in US history, joining Ritchie Torres in his historic win to become the first Afro-Latino man elected to Congress.

Data For Progress recently ran a poll commissioned by BOLD PAC, and it found Valenzuela leading Kim Olson by an 11-point gap.

In a head-to-head comparison, Valenzuela leads Olson 40% to 29%. The poll was conducted from July 2 to July 7 with a sample size of 440 likely Democratic run-off voters in their district.

Key findings in the poll revealed Valenzuela has strong support from Latino voters (55%), Black voters (42%), and women who are yet undecided, but lean more heavily towards Valenzuela as a candidate (42%).

This data is promising for Valenzuela, who trailed Olson by about ten points in Texas’ March 3 primary.

Photo: Data for Progress
 

A 2018 analysis of House races by the Center for Responsive Politics found Black female candidates like Valenzuela on average raised less than half of what white female candidates raised. 

“This isn’t a new story,” wrote Valenzuela in a blog post for Data for Progress.

“Women, people of color, and poor folks are used to having to work twice as hard to get half as far, but in this moment of national reckoning over race, justice, and equity, it’s time to reexamine how our current campaign finance system stifles representation and blocks change,” she continued.

The fact that Valenzuela has made it this far is a feat in itself, but these strong early results show she has the capacity to go further, win her district, and make history. 

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