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TX-Sen: Dewhurst Leads in GOP Primary, Dems Getting Crushed in General

by: DavidNYC

Thu Jan 27, 2011 at 8:04 AM EST


Public Policy Polling (PDF) (1/14-16, Texas Republican primary voters, no trendlines):

David Dewhurst (R): 23
Ron Paul (R): 21
Greg Abbott (R): 14
Joe Barton (R): 7
Elizabeth Ames Jones (R): 6
Ted Cruz (R): 3
Tom Leppert (R): 3
Michael Williams (R): 3
Roger Williams (R): 1
Other/undecided: 19
(MoE: ±4.9%)

With Kay Bailey Hutchison heading off to a farm upstate, PPP does another one of their genre-busting "let's throw everyone into the pigpen and see who's Head Hog" primary polls, a format I admit I'm growing to appreciate. In these early surveys, it's always the guys with the most name rec who lead the way, so it's no surprise to see Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst slopping it up at the head of the trough, though 39% of GOP voters still don't know him. Ron Paul is next in line; PPP didn't test his favorables, but we can guess they must higher than your average congressman's - like, say, Smokey Joe Barton, dwelling in the single digits. State AG Greg Abbott occupies the "roast beef" slot, to round out the top tier.

Who are the other piglets? You've got Elizabeth Ames Jones, one of three members of the Texas Railroad Commission, all of whom are elected statewide. (Despite the name, the commission doesn't supervise railroads, but rather the all-important oil-and-gas industry.) Teabagger fave Michael Williams is also on the RRC, and Ted Cruz is the former state Solicitor General, now making rain in private practice despite his tender age. Rounding out the list are Dallas Mayor Tom Leppert and former TX Sec. of State Roger Williams. Whew!

Interestingly, most of these potential candidates are already in the race or taking serious steps it. Cruz just made it official, and Jones, the only woman in the mix, did the same a few days later. Bush père-endorsed Roger Williams is already in the race. Michael Williams recently announced he plans to step down from the railroad commission, so that probably means only one thing. (In fact, he'll supposedly announce today.) Leppert's sending similar signals: a couple of weeks ago he said that he wouldn't seek re-election as mayor.

Abbott's still in "rumored" territory, and Barton's saying he's unlikely to run if the mega-wealthy Dewhurst gets in, which most folks seem to expect. A lot of people also seem to think that Dewhurst, thanks to his profile and money, will have magical field-clearing powers, but at least one columnist isn't so sure. Since Dewhurst very firmly has "establishment" branded on his hide, it's not hard to imagine a teabagger-fueled toppling. Just think about how Rick Perry positioned himself against KBH last year.

An additional name not on PPP's list is Rep. Michael McCaul, who said he's not ruling out a run. McCaul probably needs a redistricting bailout if he's to survive into the next decade, and it would make the lives of Republican state legislators easier if they didn't have to worry about him seeking re-election, but a senatorial run hardly seems like a better bet.

One guy who doesn't seem likely to run is His Paulness. Ron initially said to Politico that he was "flattered" by his showing in this poll, and then told The Hill that the prospect of running for senate had "certainly crossed my mind." But a day later, he was already telling the National Journal that "I don't think it's a real possibility." Apparently, says the NJ, Paul is "waiting to see whether the strength of the nation's currency improves before deciding whether to run." It's not clear to me which direction the dollar heads will make him more likely to get in, but as Crisitunity says: "Seeing as how we're unlikely to return to the gold standard any time soon, draw your own conclusions."

Public Policy Polling (PDF) (1/14-16, Texas voters, no trendlines):

Chet Edwards (D): 31
David Dewhurst (R): 50
Undecided: 19

Chet Edwards (D): 31
Elizabeth Ames Jones (R): 44
Undecided: 25

Chet Edwards (D): 30
Tom Leppert (R): 46
Undecided: 24

Chet Edwards (D): 31
Michael Williams (R): 42
Undecided: 27

John Sharp (D): 31
David Dewhurst (R): 49
Undecided: 19

John Sharp (D): 30
Elizabeth Ames Jones (R): 44
Undecided: 26

John Sharp (D): 30
Tom Leppert (R): 42
Undecided: 28

John Sharp (D): 30
Michael Williams (R): 42
Undecided: 28

Julian Castro (D): 25
David Dewhurst (R): 53
Undecided: 23

Julian Castro (D): 27
Elizabeth Ames Jones (R): 48
Undecided: 25

Julian Castro (D): 25
Tom Leppert (R): 48
Undecided: 27

Julian Castro (D): 26
Michael Williams (R): 45
Undecided: 29
(MoE: ±3.3%)

Doesn't look good out there. Ex-Rep. Chet Edwards, former state Comptroller John Sharp, and San Antonio Mayor Julian Castro can't get higher than 31% against any Republican in the field.

DavidNYC :: TX-Sen: Dewhurst Leads in GOP Primary, Dems Getting Crushed in General
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Ugh
They didn't test Edwards against Abbot or Paul, kind of odd.

TX
This really begs the question why the DNC or even someone like Soros doesn't invest a few million in voter registration and outreach in Texas.

29/D/Male/NY-01

That's the spirit!
The general election numbers seem nothing more than generic for now with lack of name rec going across the board. Still, hard slog that may be impossible though I would still like at least some effort put in here.

[ Parent ]
We need to hire some outside guns
Political strategists for democrats in Texas are few and far between, most left in the mid-90s and moved to other states. Hiring some other wiser folks from California to come in a take over the operations here would be HUGE. We got people willing to work, but we need some professionals.

26, Male, Democrat, TX-26

[ Parent ]
I agree.
Like I said below, why not get the guys involved (their names escape me) in either Indiana or Virginia in 2008? That alone would send a signal we are serious about the state, and the money, if not everything else, would soon follow.  

"I have never deliberately given anybody hell. I just tell the truth on the opposition-and they think it's hell."--President Harry Truman. President Obama, are you listening?

[ Parent ]
This is why I was excited
when PPP's last general election of the poll showed Obama basically tied with Palin in Texas, and down by single digits vs. Romney and Gingrich. If Obama does win Texas (which is still very unlikely at this point), it will be because the GOP nominated someone terrible like Sarah Palin, not because the state has suddenly become purple, and in that case it probably wouldn't matter anyway as Obama would be looking at a 400 EV landslide. But if Texas does become competitive in 2012, it will lead the Obama campaign to invest in these types of voter registration efforts there, which would be tremendously beneficial for Dems in TX in the long run.

Male, VA-08

[ Parent ]
Because there aren't enough people to reach out to


[ Parent ]
Yes there are
http://www.swingstateproject.c...

To a point. To get over the top is more complicated.


[ Parent ]
Forget it Jake, it's Texas


Basically
I do think Ron Paul would provide something of an opening, just as Rand Paul did in the comparably-red Kentucky, but even he would probably prevail by double-digits in the end. I still say Michael Williams wins this.

For daily political commentary, visit me at http://polibeast.blogspot.com/ and http://twitter.com/polibeast

[ Parent ]
Terrible
Much worse than numbers I expected from polls.  

Giving up on a party in a state in its entirety is a bad idea.  Obviously presenting no money for specific races make sense, but there are a lot of state House seats I expect the Democrats to win back and the party in the minority has to start somewhere.


Obviously, not good numbers
Without sounded like cock-eyed optimist, I still hope the Democrats put up a credible challenger. Senate seats in Texas don't open up often and it's important to at least try. Elections are unpredictable, sometimes what looks impossible turns out not to be.

24, male, African-American, CA-24, Democrat. Chair of the SSP Black Caucus.

very much generic R v. generic D
I think the "not sures" in the favorable for each candidate was over 50% for everyone but Dewherst. Even Sharp was at 58% "not sure"

I suspect Palin will endorse some R in this race late this year, and that candidate would get some momentum for the primary. I know she (or her PAC) has said good things about Ames Jones. But only Satan knows who Sarah will endorse.

So if Palin's poor showing in TX against President Obama is credible, then the D could make it close if a Palin-endorsed candidate wins the R nomination.

PPP also had the Hispanic turnout at 17%, which seems a bit low.  


17% seems about right
We are pretty terrible.

26, Male, Democrat, TX-26

[ Parent ]
It was 20% per the '08 exit poll
and I'd assume it would be higher in '12.

[ Parent ]
Looking forward, as a Texas dem
We have no money
We have no infrastructure
Our bench is thinned out
There's no experience in our strategists, the few there are.

I would have one giant priority here out. Take complete control of the urban areas. There's nothing left for us in East Texas, stop the social con outreach. Keep rural issues in mind, but not let them be the priority of the party any more.

Urban dominance is what we need. Until we dominate, completely the urban cities, I don't see how we can try and bite off other things. Houston/Harris, Dallas, San Antonio/Bexar, Fort Worth/Tarrant, Austin/Travis, and El Paso should all be ours based on demographics alone. We got Travis and Dallas completely, but there is room for improvement within districts and with the registration/turnout game in Dallas. Houston/Harris is just starting to come around. San Antonio/Bexar seems to just go with whoever, there is no effort by the party to vote a straight ticket and take county control. Tarrant County, demographically, regionally, and by vote percentage mirrors the state pretty well.

If we can dominate the Urban centers, then we can start rolling into Hayes/Williamson/Fort Bend/Denton/Collin/Galveston etc, but not until then.

Then there's the matter of the valley. Everything South of San Antonio and Corpus Cristi is suck. It's big bosses who control the turn out and only care that enough people show up to vote so that their local handpicked pols stay in office, they don't care about the state wide slate, so they are not turning them out. There was a great diary a few months ago about the state of Corpus Cristi's politics.

And El Paso . . . honestly, they don't feel like they're part of Texas and neither does the rest of the state. They're closer to New Mexico's capital than Austin. The state doesn't care about them, and they don't care about the state.

Yeah, we need to lock down a lot of these "other" regions, but until our base areas are locked down and acting like "base" areas, we have no business talking about expanding.

26, Male, Democrat, TX-26


Well,
don't the metro areas have most of the people? If the Democrats can dominate the urban centers and then not get killed in the neighboring suburbs, wouldn't they probably win, or come close to it, right now?

Anyway, you certainly know more about the state than I do, so I wonder what you think about the article I link to below. If you are anything like me, you'll want to throw a brick through a window when you read about how the Democrats, after seeing such success in Dallas in 2006, decided to... abandon the methods that brought them to power. Makes perfect sense, no?

http://www.texasobserver.org/c...

"I have never deliberately given anybody hell. I just tell the truth on the opposition-and they think it's hell."--President Harry Truman. President Obama, are you listening?


[ Parent ]
While it's inexpensive
It does require a dedicated base of volunteers to pull off, and if the candidate is going door-to-door himself it requires a candidate with a lot of energy.  I think there's some sort of complacency in incumbents as well; they feel like they shouldn't have to try as hard to get elected again.

But it's important to work on this because where are our candidates for higher office going to come from if we don't have any candidates winning local offices?  I wonder, too, if there can be some sort of "up-ballot" effect in places like Texas.  We hear all about coattails and the effect that races at the top of the ballot can have, but I wonder if Texas voters might think Democrats slightly less scary if they actually knew some Democrats.

26, white male, TX-24, liberal-leaning independent


[ Parent ]
I would imagine
in a state as large as Texas, going door to door for a candidate is a waste of time and impossible, unless there's a very specific demographic he's going after. There are simply too many people to try to have the candidate himself speak to. But it wouldn't be a bad idea to have campaign surrogates to do it. In fact, it's supposed to be highly effective, and there's really no limit to how many people you can get.

I wouldn't be worried about getting people to do it. It's a very big state, and the target areas already have lots of people there. I'd almost expect there to be a surplus of volunteers compared to other states, since they are never usually part of a serious campaign.

I definitely agree about the effects of fielding candidates.  

"I have never deliberately given anybody hell. I just tell the truth on the opposition-and they think it's hell."--President Harry Truman. President Obama, are you listening?


[ Parent ]
And the trouble is
don't the metro areas have most of the people? If the Democrats can dominate the urban centers and then not get killed in the neighboring suburbs, wouldn't they probably win, or come close to it, right now?

This isn't what happens.  For example, in the DFW Metroplex, yeah, Bill White won Dallas County by about 54,000 votes.  But that was basically canceled out by Perry's 52,000-vote margin in Tarrant County (which is a lot more suburban than you might think) and then won Collin County by about 48,000 votes and Denton County by about 40,000 votes.  So there you see that White lost the four "core" counties of the Metroplex by around 86,000 votes, even with a rather large margin in Dallas County.

So, Democrats hardly dominate the urban centers, and do get killed in the neighboring suburbs.

26, white male, TX-24, liberal-leaning independent


[ Parent ]
Well, it's not happening now,
but can it happen in the future? A lot of people seem to think it can.  

"I have never deliberately given anybody hell. I just tell the truth on the opposition-and they think it's hell."--President Harry Truman. President Obama, are you listening?

[ Parent ]
It's going to require
a huge shift in demographics or white conservatives suddenly becoming white liberals.  

[ Parent ]
I don't know about that.
Looking at some of these figures, it doesn't seem like the Democrats aren't even remotely close to maxing out the vote in the big counties, while the Republicans probably are. Thus, we have a lot of room to grow. And while some of this strategy would certainly involve changing a few minds, that's not all of it.  

"I have never deliberately given anybody hell. I just tell the truth on the opposition-and they think it's hell."--President Harry Truman. President Obama, are you listening?

[ Parent ]
that article is ridiculously long
Bookmarked and saved for another day.  Read the first two paragraphs and I'm quite excited!

[ Parent ]
Consultants v. Party Builders?
The key lessons learned seem to be at the bottom of the article.

The simple truth is this: If Texas Latinos voted anywhere near the national average, Democrats would be well-positioned to win statewide races this year.

Sounds like there's a problem with the TX D establishment

"The consultants who run Texas Democratic politics don't make money on voter registration or GOTV drives, they make money on TV ads,

with exceptions -- ironically, from a lady named Ewing:

Meanwhile, in Dallas, Darlene Ewing is relying even more heavily this year on grassroots campaigning and door-knocking. She reports that the county party plans to spend 75 percent of its 2010 election money on field operations-including block-walking, live phone calls and community events.

Begs the question -- what would happen if TX Ds asked for and dedicated all of their money to field ops -- and $0 to TV.


[ Parent ]
They do vote near the national average
I keep seeing that but it doesn't hold water. Bill White got 61-38 versus 60-38 for the national exit poll.

[ Parent ]
I meant to add
The big problem is whites voting more Republican than the national average. White 29-69 to 37-60.

[ Parent ]
ahhhh, the statement is imprecise
the reference was to Hispanic turnout (not the D v. R vote) being below the national average.... additional clarification

Only 37 percent of eligible Latinos turn out to vote in Texas, according to the Census Bureau. The national average is 49 percent; in California, it's 58 percent.


[ Parent ]
Makes sense
The votes are likely there to get competitive but I guess it would take at least some improvement with whites to actually win.

[ Parent ]
Yup, it's a bit much to expect a complete change
of TX Hispanic turnout to national norms in say under 10 years, barring a prop 187-type situation.

[ Parent ]
To give
Democrats a little more of a cushion in the event they do win, or to get them over the hump if the Hispanic vote isn't just enough, whites would need to give them more of their votes. But remember that we are talking going from 25 percent of the vote or so to about 30 percent of the vote, a tall order but by no means impossible.

"I have never deliberately given anybody hell. I just tell the truth on the opposition-and they think it's hell."--President Harry Truman. President Obama, are you listening?

[ Parent ]
There are talking about the percentage
of Latino voters in the electorate as a whole, not the percentage that goes for Democrats.

And yes, it does beg the question of what would happen if the Democrats focused more on mobilization and less on traditional advertising. Such efforts wouldn't be cheap, especially since they are starting from behind, but you have to think it'd be less expensive than traditional advertising.  

"I have never deliberately given anybody hell. I just tell the truth on the opposition-and they think it's hell."--President Harry Truman. President Obama, are you listening?


[ Parent ]
I've said all this before, but it's worth saying again.
First, I don't thing changing this going to automatically make for a single-digit race, but I would imagine that when two-thirds of the state has no idea who you are, nothing besides natural leanings come into play. That can change, of course, and the majority of the undecideds could swing towards the Republican, but there's no indication of that now.

Second, figure that unless it's really bad year for Democrats, our floor is more like Rick Noriega's (43 percent) than Barbara Ann Randofsky's (36 percent). If that's the case, and the Republican doesn't see some sort of Boxer-like 2004 surge, we'll need about 1.2 million votes to win. That's quite a lot, but there are two things to consider. One is that Texas' voter turnout is usually very low. There are a lot of people that just never show up--about five million of them, in fact. It's not at all clear what type of voters they are, but even if they resemble the rest of the state, we've still got a few million that are potentially ours for the taking. The other is that there lots of unregistered voters, many of whom are minorities that are far more willing to vote for us than the white population of the state. It would certainly take a lot of time to mobilize these people, but there are there.

A lot of people are going to say it'll be expensive, but just how expensive? For this past election, a group called Houston Votes figure that it could register 100,000 new voters and turn out 50,000 of them (of the 600,000 that aren't registered in Harris County) with a total budget of $675,000. I'm not sure if more money was given by the state or some other third party, but if that's the majority of the cost, then it's pretty damn cheap, all things considered. And while there were some issues as this process was happening*, the group was supposedly registering 900-1,000 voters a day. All of the usual statements about diminishing marginal returns and low hanging fruit apply, but imagine how many people could be registered simply by expanding such efforts to the biggest areas of the state. It could benefit the House candidates as well, but since we are talking about a statewide race, it's possible to just focus mostly on areas where we are already doing well.

I could go on, but suffice it to say that it looks like we could make this a real race. A lot of the work needs to be done by the Democratic candidate, but we should use the Obama campaign's resources as well.

At this point, the strongest possible signal the Democrats could send that they are taking the state seriously is to send the man who organized in Virginia or Indiana in the general election in 2008 to Texas. It'd be far easier to get people to send money, for one thing, and history shows that these guys know what they are doing.  

"I have never deliberately given anybody hell. I just tell the truth on the opposition-and they think it's hell."--President Harry Truman. President Obama, are you listening?


Disagree entirely
There's nothing in these polls or anything else that suggests Dems could make this a real race. Every Dem candidate is behind by double digits. And you keep talking about this "Houston Votes", but you said they operated this past election. Don't know if you realize this, but Texas Dems were killed in this past election. The Repubs have a 2/3rd majority in the House alone. A lot of good Houston Votes did. You also keep citing this 5 million figure, but you yourself admit you don't know who these voters are.

Texas is a sinkhole for Dems. For once, I'm going to come out as more pessimistic to Tekzilla. The Virginia and Indiana strategists need to stay in those states and make sure the Dems sufficiently recover from the debacle that was 2010.

If George Soros were going to spend money on the Dems, I'd much rather he spend money on places like North Carolina which are trending Democrat anyway, and where we can lock up the state for future elections. The only way I'd want to spend on Texas is if Dems were going to win in a landslide anyway, and had extra money to throw around.

Sorry, but no one is ever going to convince me that Texas is worth much of an effort for Dems right now. I've heard this once too often in the past 10 years. Plenty of better places to spend money.  


[ Parent ]
We won't agree on this, but
let me say that the failure of the Democrats in 2010 doesn't necessarily mean anything for 2012, except for perhaps the House races. It is entirely unsurprisingly that in a Republican year in a state that still heavily favors the Republicans, they ended up doing well. I've always maintained that if 2012 wasn't going to go well, they shouldn't bother. I still think that is true. But it's definitely possible to make plans to contest the state and then adjust such plans, including dropping them entirely, once conditions change.

As far as Houston Votes, I think you misunderstood why I used that example. It wasn't to show that it was a savior for the Democrats in 2010. For one thing, it was supposed to be non-partisan, even if it was focused on an area that would probably favor Democrats. For another, I don't think the group met its goals. And even if it did, it wouldn't be enough to make a difference except for a few races in that city. By bringing up Houston Votes, I was trying to show that there are large pools of unregistered voters in areas that favor Democrats and that it doesn't seem to cost nearly as much to register them as some people think. I could be wrong about this, since I am merely extrapolating from a small example, but I don't think I am.

You say that the efforts of people who worked in swing states last time would be better spent on the same swing states. Well, that's certainly a valid statement, but a lot of the work in such states is already done. We don't need to basically start from scratch in Indiana and Virginia, like we did last time. We can simply hand the operation to someone else and let this person work on making sure it's functioning well. It's not as if the Obama campaign suffered from a lack of qualified people last time or would see such people disappear in 2012. On the other hand, as numerous people say, the campaign structure in Texas is in shambles. Like Indiana or Virginia in 2008, the Democrats probably have to start from square one. If--if--it's not a bad year for the Democrats, it might make more sense to have one of the top performers from last time work on Texas.

Anyway, you are right that there's nothing in these numbers to show that we could make a race. But that can change. One of the biggest obstacles, the incumbent, is no longer a factor. That's not likely to be the case for a long, long time. Why not use this opportunity, if it's a decent to good year for us, while we have it, if only because we are lacking for better targets?  

"I have never deliberately given anybody hell. I just tell the truth on the opposition-and they think it's hell."--President Harry Truman. President Obama, are you listening?


[ Parent ]
Appreciate your thoughtful response...
One thing is, we might be coming at this from different perspectives. I think there's a lot of people on this blog who are pretty convinced Obama will win in a landslide next year. This is possible - obviously, his poll numbers are looking pretty good right now, and his opponents all have huge weaknesses. But there are some red flags right now (i.e. higher gas prices, unemployment declining slowly) that make it hard for me to predict that at this point.

It's true that every president who has won reelection has increased his vote totals, however, some of those increases (i.e. Bush in 2004) weren't that strong. My concern about Texas is that if it does end up in a closer than expected race, Obama could end up making the same mistake Bush did in 2000. That year, his campaign wasted a ton of money and time in California, thinking they could win the state, only to lose it again by a substantial margin. There's some thought that if he hadn't done so, he wouldn't have had to "steal" the election in Florida.

As far as the Senate race, it's the same deal. Dems are going to have a tough road to hoe next year just to stay even. I think it's possible we could gain some seats, but only by looking at states such as Massachusetts and Nevada (and possibly Maine) where we have real opportunities. Campaign spending is sort of a zero-sum game in the sense that money that's spent on one race can't be spent on another race. I'd rather us spend money to protect our endangered incumbents and play offense in territory we can win then spend a dime in Texas.

But listen, here's my concession to you - if Obama is headed toward a landslide win next year, and the Senate races are looking pretty solid, than by all means, let's spend money in Texas. But I don't think it should be any sort of priority.  


[ Parent ]
As I am sure you would agree,
it's too soon to know anything. I agree that we should protect our incumbents, but we will be doing that anyway. The only really big problems I see right now are the races in Nebraska and North Dakota. The other seats--Virginia, Montana, Ohio, and Missouri--shouldn't be especially different unless Obama's tanking. This isn't to say they will be easy to keep, only that they don't seem to present us with any unique challenges. The same can be said, I think, for Florida, New Jersey, and Michigan, and especially for Pennsylvania.

Nevada and Massachusetts are certainly better opportunities, but unless the incumbents aren't running in Arizona, Indiana, and Maine, I am not sure where else we can go, except for Texas.

As for Bush in California in 2000 (and in 2004?), you make a good point, but I think you are missing the bigger picture. What's making that state become impossible for them, at least with the current crop of candidates they decide to run, is making Texas possible for us, if not now then sooner rather than later. What they are trying to avoid is what we are trying to exploit, except that we haven't yet done so.

All of that said, I just hope that it's not being written off this early.

By the way, did anyone notice Patty Murray and John Cornyn sitting next to each other at the State of the Union? Not that this means anything, but I found it amusing nonetheless.  

"I have never deliberately given anybody hell. I just tell the truth on the opposition-and they think it's hell."--President Harry Truman. President Obama, are you listening?


[ Parent ]
I lol'd at Murry and Cornyn
My friends who were over killing time before our regular Tuesday night bar run, were looking at me kinda funny.

26, Male, Democrat, TX-26

[ Parent ]
A couple of more follow ups
1). We might have to also agree to disagree on Montana and Missouri - depending on whom the Republican candidates are, I think those races could be tough for the Dems - partially because Obama isn't really popular in either state right now. I'm less worried about Virginia and Ohio, at this point (and not worried at all about the other four states you mentioned)

2). I think you may have lost me on your point about what's making it possible in Texas is what makes it impossible for Republicans in California. Are you talking about the growth of minority voters? Because that growth has not reached critical mass in Texas, and probably will not for awhile (in my more skeptical frame of mind, I could say: "or ever"). I think where you and I disagree is that you think a strong minority turnout drive could make the difference in Texas, whereas I don't think it will (and I'm not sure the Dems are strong enough in Texas to make it work in any event).

Anyway, I think you've made some very well-reasoned points here. I'm going to drop the discussion now, but I appreciate you're willingness to engage me on this. You haven't convinced me of the wisdom of going whole hog into Texas, but you have given me some things to think about.  


[ Parent ]
I've been meaning
to make a diary or two along these lines, and not just about Texas, but I don't have anything particularly special to say, at least not yet. I've been meaning to do more research on this, and by next week, I should have the time. So, until then...

"I have never deliberately given anybody hell. I just tell the truth on the opposition-and they think it's hell."--President Harry Truman. President Obama, are you listening?

[ Parent ]
Well, in the same sample Obama was losing
only by 7 to supposedly the most electable Republican (Romney) and only 5 points to Gingrich. Texas can clearly go Democratic under this scenario so I think it's stupid to give up on it.  If it were a small state I'd say it doesn't matter, but Texas is growing rapidly with 38 electoral votes Democrats would be foolish to cede  the second largest state to Republicans completely. Especially if someone like Palin or even Gingrich is the nominee.  

[ Parent ]
Texas is not the Democrat's California
I don't think the goal should be to win, but rather, to get to 45% of the vote and lock down the urban areas while getting more people more involved in the state party and getting the organization built more efficiently and effectively so that the state party has a base to build up from over the next decade when continuing ethnographic and demographic trends, will favor the Democrats and eventually turn Texas into a swingstate by 2020 or so.  

[ Parent ]
Those don't
seem like mutually exclusive goals.  

"I have never deliberately given anybody hell. I just tell the truth on the opposition-and they think it's hell."--President Harry Truman. President Obama, are you listening?

[ Parent ]
Quick history study
Under the assumption that the Republican presidential nominee will carry Texas I wondered about recent examples of winning a senate seat off the other party in presidential years when the other party wins the electoral votes in that state.

2008 - Mark Begich wins in Alaska while McCain wins by 21 points.

2004 - Ken Salazar wins in Colorado while Bush wins by 5 points.

2000 - Mel Carnahan wins in Missouri while Bush wins by 3 points.

2000 - Bill Nelson wins in Florida while Bush "wins" by 537 votes.

1996 - Tim Hutchinson wins in Arkansas while Clinton wins by 17 points.

1996 - Tim Johnson wins in South Dakota while Dole wins by 3 points.

So to win in Texas next year it would take a flawed Republican and a top-notch Democrat. But we knew that already. It isn't necessarily impossible though and I think it shouldn't be so easily dismissed. Especially with the paucity of pick-up targets elsewhere.


Enlighten me
1996, Arkansas. What happened, other than Hutchinson winning?

26, Male, Democrat, TX-26

[ Parent ]
Jim Guy Tucker resignation fallout


[ Parent ]
Also
Clinton's winning percentage in Arkansas was inflated by the fact that he's Bill Clinton and it's Arkansas.  I seem to remember Dems having a rather weak candidate in that race as well.

26, white male, TX-24, liberal-leaning independent

[ Parent ]
Like I've said many times before,
I will understand if they don't do it, at least if the overall state of the race is bad. But for them to write it off this early is pretty ridiculous, so I hope they aren't doing that.  

"I have never deliberately given anybody hell. I just tell the truth on the opposition-and they think it's hell."--President Harry Truman. President Obama, are you listening?

[ Parent ]
Cover all bases
Plan for every eventuality and shift strategy accordingly. Indeed.

[ Parent ]
Well, fair enough
I'm still very skeptical and will remain so, but I'll agree it's probably too soon to give up on the state entirely (it's only January 2011), particularly with the fact there aren't a lot of other Republican seats to target in 2012.


[ Parent ]
I skeptical too
But the only certain result comes from not trying at all.

[ Parent ]
Ultimately
Texas won't shift towards being a tossup state if the Dems just sit back and wait.  Yeah maybe it will shift a few points as a result of the growing the minority population.  However it will take investment from the Ds and the Rs alienation of minorities.

I agree with a previous comment which stated the Dems need to work hard on the urban areas and to work to get that to bleed into the nearby suburbs.  Especially in further solidification of Dallas County as a Democratic stronghold, work in Harris and Bexar county to shift them from swingy to blue and to flip Tarrant county from red-to-blue.  Travis is already solidified and there is definitely still a push there towards the Democrats in the northern suburbs.  

Texas is a problem for the Democrats given the fast growing population and it's increase in representation in the House and Electoral college.  Ceding it without a fight could possibly end up alienating the Hispanic vote.


I agree with you on all but the last point
The Democrats allready targeted hispanics in Colorado, Nevada, New Mexico and Florida. It's only a matter of time before Texas and Arizona join that group.  

CO-02 (college)/FL-15 (home).  

[ Parent ]
Ron Paul
While he gets 21 percent in this poll, that's basically probably where he would top out.  Everybody already knows who Paul is and while he has that diehard base of support, he doesn't have a lot of room to grow on it and certainly couldn't win a runoff.

26, white male, TX-24, liberal-leaning independent

I'd be okay with him in the Senate for two reasons
One, he'd throw a vote here or there our way.  Two, it'd be funny to see a father/son in the Senate with the son the more senior Senator.

[ Parent ]
I'd love to see Paul run
If by some miracle he won he'd be one of the 10 best (most likely to get a vote out of) Republican senators.

At the same time he'd give the Dems a small chance to win, and regardless Texas will become the focus of Paulite attention and money, which spares the rest of the country a bunch of nuisance.


[ Parent ]
Agreed, especially given the presence of several other Tea Party candidates
He'll only garner that modest libertarian chunk of the state GOP.

For daily political commentary, visit me at http://polibeast.blogspot.com/ and http://twitter.com/polibeast

[ Parent ]

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