Republican Bonilla Hangs On in TX 23rd, But Hispanic Vote May Decide Outcome: In a runoff election today, 12/4/06, in Texas's 23rd Congressional District, incumbent Republican Henry Bonilla appears to edge Democrat Ciro Rodriguez, 53% to 46%, according to a SurveyUSA poll conducted exclusively for WOAI-TV San Antonio. The runoff is in 8 days, on 12/12/06. Bonilla gets 70% of White votes. Rodriguez gets 72% of Hispanic votes. In SurveyUSA's turnout model, 59% of likely runoff voters are white, 36% are Hispanic. If Hispanics make up more than 36% of those who vote in the Runoff, the contest will be closer than SurveyUSA's numbers here show. Bonilla gets 94% of Republican votes. Rodriguez gets 89% of Democratic votes. Independents split. Bonilla wins by 25 points among higher-income voters, and by 15 points among middle-income voters. Rodriguez wins by 25 points among lower-income voters.
Texas's Congressional map was redrawn after a Supreme Court case in August 2006. Since there was no time for party primaries, there was a special election on November 7th in the affected districts, in which more than one candidate per party could run. In the 23rd Congressional District, Bonilla defeated Rodriguez and several other Democrats, but received only 48% of the vote, triggering the runoff. Those who voted for other candidates on 11/7/06 now prefer Rodriguez by 3:1. Bonilla was first elected to Congress in 1992. Rodriguez represented Texas's 28th Congressional District from 1997 to 2005.