Jessica Cisneros , Henry Cuellar , Biden , TexasGreg Casar declares victory in the Democratic primary election for 35th Congressional District during his watch party in Austin, Texas.
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On Tuesday night, Jessica Cisneros appeared poised to force a runoff with troubled incumbent Rep. Henry Cuellar.
PROGRESSIVES CLOSELY WATCHED the results from three congressional races in Texas on Tuesday. Democratic socialist Greg Casar landed a strong win in the open primary in Texas’s 35th district, which stretches from San Antonio to Austin, leading his closest Democratic rival, Eddie Rodriguez, by over 40 points as of Tuesday night.

While results were still rolling in from Texas-28 late on Tuesday, Jessica Cisneros’s strong showing will likely force the troubled incumbent, Rep. Henry Cuellar, into a runoff. And progressives scored another win in the South Dallas-based 30th district, where Texas State Rep. Jasmine Crockett held a commanding 28-point lead over her closest rival in a crowded field, with early tallies putting her within striking distance of the 50-percent threshold needed to avoid a runoff.

Progressives fared worse at the statewide level, where Bernie Sanders-endorsed attorney general candidate Lee Merritt received only around 18 percent of the vote in the Democratic primary on Tuesday night.

Activist groups like Justice Democrats, which supported Cisneros and Casar, have been touting the races as potential indicators that the Democratic base is hungry for liberals who will fight harder for Biden’s agenda. The hope was that Democrats could make up losses with working class voters and Republican-trending Hispanic voters by doubling down on populist economics and leaning into their support for immigration and policing reforms.

It’s still unclear who Casar — an outspoken progressive with a tumultuous tenure on Austin’s city council — will face in the general. The Republican primary had no clear winner on Tuesday night, with no candidate taking more than 20 percent of the vote. But the newly drawn district is one of the most Democratic-leaning in the nation.

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