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Congressional candidate from Texas Mayra Flores
Mayra Flores at the RNC headquarters in Washington on May 17, 2022.Bill Clark / CQ-Roll Call via Getty Images

Midterm roundup: Texas-sized warning signs for Democrats

Republicans are looking to make gains among Latino voters, particularly in South Texas.

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Republicans’ victory in a special election this week in Texas’ 34th District has some Democrats in Congress, particularly Latinos, worried that their party is taking Latino voters for granted, according to Politico. Some lawmakers and Democrats involved in the race criticized the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee for not fully engaging in the South Texas race, with a handful asking to meet with DCCC Chairman Sean Patrick Maloney. 

Maloney defended the committee’s actions by noting the district will soon disappear, thanks to redistricting, noting the new 34th District favors Democrats. 

But the episode underscores concerns about whether there’s dwindling support for Democrats among Latino voters, particularly in traditionally bluer areas like South Texas. Republicans see an opportunity to make gains there, with the three of the National Republican Congressional Committee’s four targets in Texas located in the southern part of the state. 

Elsewhere on the campaign trail:

Alaska Senate: GOP Sen. Lisa Murkowski made her first TV buy, spending $528,000 on an ad reservation starting in late September and running through Election Day, per AdImpact. Murkowski faces a Top 4 primary on Aug. 16.

Kentucky Senate: Former Democratic state Rep. Charles Booker spoke to NBC News’ Janelle Griffith about racism he’s faced, and how embracing uncomfortable discussions about race in inequality is part of his strategy against GOP Sen. Rand Paul.

Maine Governor:  Former Maine GOP Gov. Paul LePage appears to be moderating his image after building a reputation as a bombastic and controversial executive, NBC News’ Alex Seitz-Wald reports. 

Nevada Governor: Democratic Gov. Steve Sisolak made his first TV ad buy tracked by AdImpact, reserving $2.4 million in airtime for the fall. 

Michigan-03: GOP Rep. Peter Meijer, one of 10 House Republicans to impeach Trump after Jan. 6, is up with his first TV adtracked by AdImpact ahead of the Aug. 2 primary. In the ad, Meijer highlights his military service and says he is “standing up to Joe Biden.”

Nevada-01: NBC News’ Decision Desk projected retired Col. Mark Robertson won the GOP primary to take on Democratic Rep. Dina Titus. 

Nevada-04: The Decision Desk also projected that Air Force veteran Sam Peters will be the Republican to take on Democratic Rep. Steven Horsford in the competitive district.

Virginia-02: Winning for Women Action Fund is up with a new ad touting Navy veteran Jen Kiggans as a “hard-core conservative” as she looks to make it out of her primary and take on Democratic Rep. Elaine Luria.