Rick Perry vs World
05 March 2014
Winners and losers: primary night edition
Dannie Goeb -- Leading by 13 as of this moment, the former shock jock has shocked us again. Barring a blowup, he'll be the leader of the Texas Senate in 2015. He went on offense and stayed there. But I have to wonder...how much do Todd Staples and Jerry Patterson regret their 2012 Dewhurst endorsement? Their campaigns were dead in the water from the start.
Ken Paxton -- He's leading by almost 11% right now. Smitherman did well in Houston, so Paxton will pink up a large chunk of that vote by default. Dan Branch has almost no chance to win this battle of the DFW lawyers.
Greg Abbott -- 91% is pretty good in a four-way race. His party is united behind him. Compare that to John Cornyn who also faced a bunch of no-names and yet is running just under 59%.
#TxLege conservatives running for higher office -- Democrats may continue to make Joe Straus the Speaker of the House, but it is quite clear that if you ever want to move up in Texas politics, then you should stay far away from Joe Straus.
I heard people talk about Straus staffer Eric Opiela as a shoo-in and he won't even make the runoff. Meanwhile, Straus tried to end Wayne Christian's political career, but now he is poised to be a statewide officeholder.
MSM slate candidates -- they all did worse than expected. Why would any Republican running in a competitive statewide primary spend time seeking endorsements that lose you votes? I don't understand how any of their consultants let them.
Wendy Davis -- yeah, she couldn't motivate anyone to vote in the Democratic primary, but that's no surprise and no big deal. General elections are not won or lost based on how many people vote in the primary.
The big deal is that -- as of right now with 67% in -- she is getting 78% of the vote against a no-name AND SHE IS LOSING IN SOUTH TEXAS. A Democrat can't pull off a miracle upset when losing against a no-name in South Texas counties. Are the folks down there turned off by her pro-Obama liberalism or do they just not care enough to vote for her?
There's really no good way for the Obama staffers running her campaign to spin this. It shatters the whole "we'll win non-voting Latinos" myth that Texas Democrats try to make themselves believe every four years. "But it's different this time," they cry. The data does not support their claim.
Online polls -- Polling primaries is not always easy. But it's even harder when you change the whole basis of random sampling and then hope that your opt-in sample uses demographic features that are enough to construct a sample that is similar to primary voters.
In fact, one might expect that certain subgroups like libertarians would be drastically oversampled online. Oversampling libertarians has long been a problem with online polling. And, voila! Debra Medina, who previously played footsie with 9/11 Truthers, is at 19%. She's got the same libertarians she got 4 years ago, and not a voter more.
David Dewhurst -- will he even decide to burn more money on the runoff? Short of a Patrick blowup, I see zero paths to Dewhurst even getting 45% of the vote, much less the 50% he needs to win. By the way, he frequently trashed his 2012 campaign team over the last couple years, but this sub-30% performance tonight actually suggests that they did a good job (as I contended at the time).
Trial lawyers -- the Ted Cruz #SCOTX endorsements crushed any hopes their slate had of winning. The money they spent to try to stop Dan Patrick was wasted.
02 March 2014
Democrats for Dan Patrick
The Texas Democratic Party has endorsed Dan Patrick for Lt Governor:
This follows a long tradition of Democrats picking the weakest Republican candidate and then spending money advertising them as "too conservative," so that they will win the GOP primary. A few examples immediately come to mind: Harry Reid only managed to win in 2010 by doing this to Sharron Angle. Garry South did it to Bill Simon in 2002 so that an unpopular Gray Davis could get re-elected governor of California (and then be recalled a year later).
And of course, Claire McCaskill and the Missouri Democrats spent heavily on ads like this to give us Todd Akin.
I'm not terribly worried about Dan Patrick losing. Leticia Van de Putte is a weak candidate who is prone to stereotyping and who needs 10 second pauses in order to answer easy questions.
But then again, shock jocks gonna shock jock. A Dan Patrick blowup is the Democrats best chance of winning statewide in 2014.
23 February 2014
Pete Sessions doesn't live in Texas
This video is "ouch" for Pete Sessions. He clearly doesn't live at the address he lists in Dallas.
hat tip to Breitbart Texas
20 February 2014
The MSM endorsement list
In recent years, Texas newspapers have done an impressive job of picking losers in near-unison. Sure, there were a few dissenters here and there, but the vast majority of editorial boards made the following selections:
Kay Bailey Hutchison over Rick Perry
Bill White over Rick Perry
David Dewhurst over Ted Cruz
Paul Sadler (who?) over Ted Cruz
In each one of those cases, they took the more liberal candidate for the office. Clearly MSM editorial boards in Texas have different values than the majority of Texas voters.
There has been similar agreement this year in MSM endorsements for the competitive races. There have been a couple of differences, but there has been a clear leader in each race for the most number of newspaper endorsements.
Here is the MSM endorsement list:
For Lt Gov: David Dewhurst
For Attorney General: Dan Branch
For Comptroller: Harvey Hilderbran
For Agriculture Commish: J Allen Carnes or Eric Opiela
For Railroad Commish: Ryan Sitton
What do you think? Have the editorial boards again identified the least conservative candidate in the Republican primary?
19 February 2014
Some DC reporters seem to think only the leadership has any power
Chris Cilizza writes, "Ted Cruz isn't planning to be in the Senate for very long." Here is a condensed version of Cilizza's argument:
[T]his latest gambit by Cruz may well be the most telling because it directly impacts two men who, if Cruz had any thought of sticking around the Senate for any extended period of time, not only could, but would make life very uncomfortable for him.
McConnell and Cornyn, both of whom are favorites to win their primaries, will never forget Cruz's move this past week.
Cruz won't be climbing the leadership ladder. Ever.
Well, duh. Cruz won't be climbing the leadership ladder. So what? That means nothing about whether he'll be in the Senate for 2 years or 40 years.
But two points:
1. Political reality trumps whatever hurt feelings have occurred now. Cornyn needs Cruz more than Cruz needs Cornyn. It's been true so far and probably will remain so for awhile. McConnell is also a pretty sharp observer of political reality -- just witness his charm offensive of Rand Paul.
Put differently: Ted Cruz's power base is conservatives across America, not the personal feelings of the current occupants of the Senate GOP leadership offices. If Ted Cruz maintains his popularity with those folks, then the leadership can't afford to antagonize Senator Cruz.
2. Not everyone who angers the leadership goes on to a short tenure in the US Senate. Jesse Helms served in the US Senate for 30 years if memory serves. Despite poking the leadership in the eye as much as possible, he managed to chair both the Agriculture and Foreign Relations Committees.
Hedrick Smith's seminal book on Congress described Helms as a "devastatingly effective power broker" in large part because he refused to toe the leadership line. Cilizza might want to re-read it.
I know Ted Cruz cares about ideas. If you observed him on the campaign trail in 2012, you'd have noticed that he was most engaged with voters when discussing issues, and the more arcane, the better.
So as long as the US Senate is his best opportunity to defend liberty, then I imagine you'll still find Ted Cruz there.
Dan Patrick hired illegal immigrants
Dan Patrick has a long record of changing positions. He's flip-flopped on Dewhurst more times than I have fingers. He's flip-flopped on Ted Cruz. He's been for a full-time Texas legislature, then against it. The list could go on and on.
He's run a virulent campaign for lieutenant governor targeting illegal immigrants. The former shock jock has gotten increasingly shill as the campaign goes on.
He used to feel differently when he owned a restaurant. Back then, Dan Patrick employed multiple illegal immigrants. In fact, Dan Patrick even wrote a letter to help one of them obtain citizenship.
Andrade, who worked as a dishwasher and then a cook at Dan and Nick's Sports Market in the Rice Village from 1984 to 1986, described Patrick as a compassionate boss who extended help when Andrade's mother was ill.
He said Patrick wrote a letter recommending him when he applied for U.S. citizenship, which he attained in 1992. He said the letter was a requirement for him to prove he had been employed in the United States consistently since his arrival in 1980.
Andrade said he is married, with five children, including a son in the U.S. Army.
"I saw him as a very good person. Almost like my father," said Andrade. "He was so good at that time, helping Hispanics grow up in this country. We were so appreciative of him."
Dan Patrick has run a dishonest campaign. He's denounced others for hypocrisy at the same time he's been guilty of his own hypocrisy.
18 February 2014
Dan Patrick says Dewhurst has the same record as he does: inaction, hypocrisy, and duplicity.
Dan Patrick in 2014:
"Dewhurst has a proven record of inaction, hypocrisy and duplicity," Patrick said, contending that an outsider like himself is needed to get things done in the state Senate.
Dan Patrick in 2012 said "[David Dewhurst's] record was the same as Rick Perry's and mine." Here's the screenshot of Patrick/Goeb's Facebook rant:
In the same Facebook post endorsing Dewhurst's nasty campaign against Ted Cruz, Dan Goeb/Patrick then revised it to say that they share 98% of the same record.
16 February 2014
We are under invasion
Dannie Goeb was born up in Nancy Pelosi country -- in fact, Pelosi's father was mayor when Goeb/Patrick was born. So I am entirely in agreement with Dan Patrick that we Texans are under invasion.
But then again, shock jocks gonna shock jock. They'll call Ted Cruz a liar, "endorse" Cruz's opponent and then do a Wendy Davis-style flip-flop a few months later and proclaim that Cruz should be president.
Is that who we want to be one heartbeat away from 1010 Colorado?
12 February 2014
Now we know why Wendy Davis has been shutting out Texas media
Remember how the Wendy Davis campaign tried to deal with the fallout of her exaggerated bio in late January by cancelling interviews with reporters and shutting off press access while stage-managing awkward photo ops and throwing up political Hail Mary desperation plays?
Now we know why! The Davis campaign was running to the New York Times to try to change the narrative:
One sunny Friday morning in late January, Wendy Davis took me on a two-hour tour of the life she led just a decade or so ago, back when she was a city councilwoman and the world knew nothing of her. . .
Robert Draper wrote a favorable article about Wendy (!) Davis a few months ago, laying out the most favorable case that Wendy Davis in fact had some semblance of a chance to win as a liberal in Texas.
Since Davis's campaign was so pleased with Draper's previous article, they went back to the well. And they'll like what they got: hagiography that repeats all of Matt Angle's talking points with barely a whisper of criticism.
Early on Draper suggests that Wendy Davis exaggerations and distortions of her biography are a story because...she's female.
But [the controversy over falsities in Davis's bio] was also very much the story of a female politician -- and was thus fraught with choices for which male candidates are seldom second-guessed by either voters or pundits.
And yet, despite getting former Michigan governor Jennifer Granholm on the record to cry sexism...
As former Gov. Jennifer M. Granholm of Michigan, a Democrat, told me: "Politics is so far behind the other sectors, I guess because in a democracy you have to appeal to the broadest spectrum in order to get elected. People still expect a more traditional thing from female politicians. Calling a man ambitious is seen as a positive thing. With a woman, it's a negative."...the best quote Draper can get from a Republican is from frequent GOP critic Christie Todd Whitman:
Former Gov. Christie Whitman of New Jersey, a Republican, put it this way: "It's not that the questions about the accuracy of her narrative are illegitimate. It's the intensity of the questioning that's so disheartening."Even Whitman acknowledges the legitimacy but questions the...intensity. I recall Whitman very intensely bashing Jim Florio's record back in the day, so this must be a newfound concern for her.
Later on, Draper tells us that:
To this end, Davis makes for an intriguing warrior. Even her political enemies concede her toughness.
The only support offered for that assertion comes from quotes by her fellow liberal Democrats in the Texas Senate, Kirk Watson and Rodney Ellis.
09 February 2014
Que bronca! Van de Putte is running because of Dewhurst
I listened to the rest of Leticia Van de Putte's interview with Evan Smith and one thing jumped out at me: the repeated shots at David Dewhurst, even when they were completely off topic.
The repetition made it seem like she is motivated to run by personal pique over Dewhurst's removal of Van de Putte from the chair of higher education. That's a bit strange when Dewhurst is reasonably likely to not even be in office next session.
There were oblique references to Buddy Barfield embezzling Dewhurst's campaign cash, Dewhurst's penthouse apartment, Dewhurst's business skills, Dewhurst not picking the right committee chairs (wonder who she was referring to?), and Dewhurst not understanding the Texas Senate. Honestly if I went back and took notes I would probably find a few more. It was bizarre how often she returned to the subject.
Van de Putte was never going to win. But if she were to have had any possibilities of winning, those would have been hurt by an interview that didn't really even feature any particularly difficult questions.
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