Taj Clayton seemed to have the makings of a serious challenger to 10-term incumbent Eddie Bernice Johnson in Texas's 30th Congressional District: the son of factory workers who graduated Harvard Law, returned to Dallas after school and worked at a major law firm. On the campaign trail, he radiated energy.

But on Tuesday night, Bernice Johnson's constituents proved more than willing to send her back to Congress for another term, handing her 71 percent of the vote in early results. Clayton trailed a third candidate, state Rep. Barbara Mallory Caraway, who once allegedly wielded a knife at her husband in a domestic dispute. The Associated Press called the race within minutes of the polls' closing.

Voters were apparently unperturbed by a 2010 scandal in which Johnson steered tens of thousands of dollars in Congressional Black Caucus scholarships to her relatives. She will most likely win re-election in November in her heavily Democratic district.