|Poll||Date||Sample||Canseco (R)||Rodriguez (D)||Spread|
|Final Results||--||--||49.4||44.4||Canseco +5.0|
|2008: Rodriguez (D) 56%, Larson (R) 42%||2008: Obama (D) 51%, McCain (R) 48%
|2006: Rodriguez (D) 54%, Bonilla (R) 46%||2004: Bush (R) 57%, Kerry (D) 43%|
|2004: Bonilla (R) 69%, Sullivan (D) 29%||2000: Bush (R) 54%, Gore (D) 46%|
The 23rd district in Texas is a judicial creation. The district was represented for over a decade by Representative Henry Bonilla, but in 2006 the Supreme Court of the United States declared that Bonilla’s district violated the Voting Rights Act of 1965. A federal judge substantially increased the Hispanic population of the district, and Bonilla lost to Ciro Rodriguez (who had been upset in a primary by Henry Cuellar in the neighboring 28th district a few years earlier). While the district stretches across the vast, empty expanses of southwest Texas, about 2/3 of the district’s population is located in Bexar County (San Antonio).
Rodriguez has been a fairly – though not uniformly – dependable vote for the Democratic leadership, which is a tricky prospect in a district that still gave John McCain 48 percent of the vote. He has drawn a top-tier challenger in businessman Quico Canseco, who lost in the primary in 2008. Rodriguez finished with 56 percent of the vote in 2008, a very good Democratic year. So, while the fundamentals of the district aren’t terrible for Rodriguez, he should face his stiffest challenge from a Republican in his career.