31 March 2010

Politifact is Politipinion: Houston IS a sanctuary city

Politifact holds itself out as a John Roberts-like umpire of political campaigns, dispassionately calling balls and strikes.

If you're going to do that, then you have to be careful. You have to refrain from favoring certain candidates. And neutral people should overwhelmingly not only agree, but think that disagreement would be childish.

Politifact rated as "false" a claim by Texas GOP Chair Cathie Adams that Houston under Bill White was a sanctuary city.

The Congressional Research Service said that Houston is a sanctuary city. Politifact disagrees because 1) there is no policy posted online, 2) the policy is not backed by ordinance, 3) the CRS didn't explicitly delineate why each jurisdiction was considered a sanctuary city and 4) "there is no official policy."

These things are all correct, but irrelevant and/or misleading. Houston is a sanctuary city. As the Houston Chronicle reported in 2003:

The Houston Police Department's controversial policy, in place for almost 11 years, forbids police from asking about someone's citizenship status and prohibits them from detaining or arresting people solely on the belief they are in the country illegally.

You and I might agree or disagree on whether that is a wise policy, but around the country cities that have policies like this are called sanctuary cities. Houston, under Bill White, was a sanctuary city. When Politifact calls people liars who say this, they are crossing the bounds of reason and wading into mere editorializing

Politifact is just mere politipinion.

Posted by Evan @ 03/31/10 11:28 PM | Comments (1)

 
 


KBH not resigning is good for Democrats?

Cory Crow makes the argument that KBH not resigning is good for Democrats.

I don't know if I'd go that far, but I generally view KBH not resigning as neither good nor bad for Republican prospects of holding the seat in 2013. Either way, it's not really something that keeps me up at night.

Posted by Evan @ 03/31/10 10:17 PM | Comments (1)

 
 


Changing math education?

Since a massive part of state budgets is for education, every year education is an issue.

So, I thought it was worth passing on Lockhart's Lament. Paul Lockhart is a solid research mathmetician who got tired of teaching college kids, so he started teaching K-12 math education. He thinks we should revolutionize the way we teach math.

It's pretty persuasive to me. I loved solving problems, I hated math. I remember getting 4th place in a statewide highschool math competition (top 3 got prizes. doh!) and having them announce it over the loudspeakers at school at the very same moment that my high school pre-calculus teacher gave me back my exam on it with a big F. She did not look happy with me, but I had gotten used to her taking points off of things because I didn't do problems exactly the way she did.

Outside of the college calculus class I took during high school, I never did take another math class. A shame.

Posted by Evan @ 03/31/10 10:10 PM | Comments (0)

 
 


Burka: ObamaCare mandate unconstitutional

Paul Burka surprises me by opining that it is ObamaCare's mandate requiring health care insurance is unconstitutional.

I agree, of course. If the Commerce Clause means that the federal government can requires all of us to buy health insurance, then they can require us to do anything. In which case, the whole Constitution doesn't mean much.

Posted by Evan @ 03/31/10 07:22 PM | Comments (0)

 
 


Kotkin on Texas cities

Joel Kotkin on the strength of Texas' urban areas.

... Americans continue to vote with their feet for the adopted hometown of widely disdained former President George W. Bush. According to the most recent Census estimates, the Dallas and Ft. Worth, Texas, region added 146,000 people between 2008 and 2009--the most of any region in the country--a healthy 2.3% increase.

Other Texas cities also did well. Longtime rival Houston sat in second, with an additional 140,000 residents. Smaller Austin added 50,000--representing a remarkable 3% growth--while San Antonio grew by some 41,000 people.

In contrast, most blue state mega cities--with the exception of Washington, D.C.--grew much more slowly. The New York City region's rate of growth was just one-fifth that of Dallas or Houston, while Los Angeles barely reached one-third the level of the Texas cities.

This leads me to believe that the most dynamic future for America urbanism--and I believe there is one--lies in Texas' growing urban centers.

You might also note a Tory Gattis mention in there.

Posted by Evan @ 03/31/10 07:16 PM | Comments (0)

 
 


Shun your friends, woo your enemies in Honduras

O'Grady:

Washington's bullying [in Honduras] is two-pronged. First is a maniacal determination to punish those involved in removing Mr. Zelaya. Second is an attempt to force Honduras to allow Mr. Zelaya, who now lives in the Dominican Republic, to return without facing any repercussions for the illegal actions that provoked his removal. Both goals are damaging the bilateral relationship, polarizing the nation and raising the risk of a resurgence of political violence.

The U.S., as represented by Mr. Llorens, has been at the center of the Zelaya crisis all along. People familiar with events leading up to Mr. Zelaya's arrest on June 28 say that had the U.S. ambassador not worked behind the scenes to block a congressional vote to remove the president a few days earlier, the dramatic deportation would never have happened.

Sigh. Elections have consequences. It would be nice if we didn't punish our neighbors who want to be our friends.

Posted by Evan @ 03/31/10 07:12 PM | Comments (0)

 
 


Why I don't like Romney

Politico's story on Mitt Romney's Iowa dilemma:

Not only did Romney campaign aggressively here the last time around, but he held up his all-out effort in a bid to distinguish himself from those rivals who downplayed or altogether bypassed Iowa.

"I believe in the Iowa process," Romney said in a 2007 appearance on "Iowa Press," the Hawkeye State's version of "Meet the Press." "I think that people who are planning on running for president should really subject themselves to the process of getting known by voters in Iowa."

Now, though, Romney isn't willing to make any commitments to compete in the state again.

There's a long history of him doing this. But apparently some people don't care, because he just sounds so sincere when he says something.

Posted by Evan @ 03/31/10 07:07 PM | Comments (0)

 
 


Alyssa Katz writes in Slate "How Texas avoided the worst of the real estate meltdown."

A cash-out refinance is a mortgage taken out for a higher balance than the one on an existing loan, net of fees. Across the nation, cash-outs became ubiquitous during the mortgage boom, as skyrocketing house prices made it possible for homeowners, even those with bad credit, to use their home equity like an ATM. But not in Texas. There, cash-outs and home-equity loans can't total more than 80 percent of a home's appraised value. There's a 12-day cooling-off period after an application, during which the borrower can pull out. And when a borrower refinances a mortgage, it's illegal to get even $1 back. Texas really means it: All these protections, and more, are in the state constitution. The Texas restrictions on mortgage borrowing date back to the first days of statehood in 1845, when the constitution banned home loans entirely.

...the fact that fewer Texans took cash out of their home equity than did borrowers in any other state -- and took out less when they did. The more prevalent cash-out refinances are in a state, the more likely it is that mortgage borrowers there will run into trouble. For every 1 percentage point increase in its share of subprime mortgages that are cash-out refinances, the likelihood of foreclosure in that state goes up by one-third of a percent.

Until 1998, Texans couldn't take out home-equity loans at all. The roots of this fierce resistance to debt's temptations go deep in Texas history. Seven years before the republic joined the union in 1845, a bank panic and resulting foreclosures lost many homesteaders their property.

I cherry-picked these three paragraphs*, but you should go read the whole thing. I'm no expert on the subject, but Katz made a pretty good case.

*Generally speaking, I think too many bloggers abuse the fair use exception to copyright. From the beginning, I've generally tried to keep my excerpting low.

Posted by Evan @ 03/31/10 06:47 PM | Comments (0)

 
 


Kay to serve the rest of her Senate term

That's what everyone is reporting, and as I predicted last night.

Posted by Evan @ 03/31/10 09:55 AM | Comments (0)

 
 


30 March 2010

Kay Bailey Hutchison press conference: serve out her term?

Kay Bailey Hutchison has announced a press conference 10am tomorrow with the subject to be her political future. John Cornyn and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell will accompany her.

Rumor is that she will serve out her term, but we will see.

Posted by Evan @ 03/30/10 10:39 PM | Comments (0)

 
 


27 March 2010

Word of wisdom from Nobel laureate economist Gary Becker:

Capitalism has produced the highest standard of living in history, and yet markets are hard to appreciate? Mr. Becker explains: "People tend to impute good motives to government. And if you assume that government officials are well meaning, then you also tend to assume that government officials always act on behalf of the greater good. People understand that entrepreneurs and investors by contrast just try to make money, not act on behalf of the greater good. And they have trouble seeing how this pursuit of profits can lift the general standard of living. The idea is too counterintuitive. So we're always up against a kind of in-built suspicion of markets. There's always a temptation to believe that markets succeed by looting the unfortunate."

Posted by Evan @ 03/27/10 06:39 PM | Comments (0)

 
 


26 March 2010

Gramm on ObamaCare

Phil Gramm op-ed in WSJ on ObamaCare.

For every dollar's worth of health care that Americans received last year, they paid a dime and somebody else paid 90 cents. If you bought food the way you buy health care—where 90% of everything you put in your basket was paid for by your grocery insurance policy—you would eat differently and so would your dog. We have the best health-care system in the world, but as rich as America is we can't afford it.

Any real debate about health-care reform has to be centered on solving the problem of cost. Ultimately, there are only two ways of doing it. The first approach is to have government control costs through some form of rationing. The alternative is to empower families to make their own health-care decisions in a system where costs matter. The fundamental question is about who is going to do the controlling: the family or the government.

Posted by Evan @ 03/26/10 01:44 PM | Comments (0)

 
 


Pounder joining Rubio campaign

Kay Bailey Hutchison flak Joe Pounder is joining the Marco Rubio campaign.

Posted by Evan @ 03/26/10 01:14 PM | Comments (0)

 
 


They don't even pretend to endorse Republicans in high-profile races anymore

The Houston Chronicle headlines its op-ed reaction to health care regulation's passage:

Wrong side of history: Unanimous opposition to health care reform could haunt GOP

You have to love an op-ed board in a right-leaning region who automatically assumes that more government is the right side of history, even when the bill is unpopular in the country at large.

I've never quite figured out why a corporation would let its brands (in declining industries!) be run by people who have a habit of chasing away potential customers.

Posted by Evan @ 03/26/10 12:22 PM | Comments (2)

 
 


22 March 2010

Texas one of the states to challenge healthcare constitutionality

Abbott announces that Texas will challenge the constitutionality of the healthcare law.

I wonder if they'll hire Ted Cruz. Hard to think of anyone better.

Posted by Evan @ 03/22/10 04:04 PM | Comments (1)

 
 


Hutchison to run for re-election?

RELEASE: Hutchison Joins DeMint In Effort to Repeal ObamaCare just hit my mailbox from KBH's Senate office.

My first reaction: is this a sign that Senator Hutchison is planning to run for re-election?

Don't get me wrong, I'm sure the Senator is outraged by ObamaCare. Not only is the substance horrible, but the process has stunk, and no Republican can quite believe how Obama has been able to just glide by without being called out by the media for break all of the process changes he promised.* Pretty much every Republican of any stripe -- liberal, moderate, or conservative -- can't really believe it.

But if KBH is going to run for re-election, she needs an issue. An issue to protect her from the right but even more importantly, she needs a reason to break her promise. And, y'know, socializing almost 20% of the American economy is certainly a pretty large issue.

* You remember early in the presidential race when he made process a huge part of his pitch? It was a big part of his moderate appeal, plus it certified his good government credentials.

Posted by Evan @ 03/22/10 03:49 PM | Comments (1)

 
 


Drip, drip

Ratcliffe, Chron:

Democratic gubernatorial nominee Bill White earned more than $2.6 million serving on the board of a gas well servicing company that now is part of a congressional investigation into possible groundwater contamination.

White, who made cleaning Houston's polluted air a hallmark of his tenure as Houston's mayor, has been on the board of BJ Services Co. since 2003, the year he was elected, earning more than $627,000.

Posted by Evan @ 03/22/10 03:40 PM | Comments (0)

 
 


Post-election tidbits

I know I'm late to this, but KBH felt like W let her down by not backing her up on the bailout or endorsing her.

She did plan to quit the runoff if she trailed by more than 20% though.

Posted by Evan @ 03/22/10 03:29 PM | Comments (0)

 
 


The Howard Dean wing of the....oh wait

The Texas Tribune profiles the Coffee Party:

Mares knows that if coffee is the opposite of tea, and the Tea Party has a conservative bent, the public will quickly assume that the Coffee Party is a home for disaffected Democrats. "That's a misconception right now," he said. "We aren't any wing of the Democratic Party -- not liberals, progressives, or moderates. We are strictly down that middle road."

That may be true, but there certainly seemed to be some consensus among those that showed up at Grace Coffee Café. "I suspect everyone in here voted for Obama," said retired World War II veteran Ralph Bender, getting no disagreement. "I also suspect we are all disillusioned." By a show of hands, the group also unanimously supported including a public option in healthcare reform legislation.

One of my favorite things about liberals is how they hate to admit that they are liberals. Heck, even the ones who don't claim to be moderates had to invent a new label for themselves.

Posted by Evan @ 03/22/10 03:19 PM | Comments (0)

 
 


If I'm not mistaken, Paul Sadler has run for Congress twice. I'm thinking he's not planning on running again if he's saying things like this:

Paul Sadler is executive director of the Wind Coalition, an Austin-based advocacy group. Sadler, a former Democratic lawmaker, credits Republican Gov. Rick Perry with a wind-friendly environment: "Governor Perry has been the most supportive elected official in the nation for wind."

Posted by Evan @ 03/22/10 03:12 PM | Comments (0)

 
 


Yikes

Apropos of the healthcare bill, the bond market now thinks it's safer to lend to corporations than to Uncle Sam. It's fairly safe to say that's revolutionary.

The mere idea that corporations are now more trustworthy than the American federal government is simply incredible. Finance textbooks for generations have taught that the risk-free rate is the Treasury rate. That's no longer true. The deficit and debt is so big that it is now risky to lend to the feds.

Obama's spendthriftiness is seriously putting us in peril.

Posted by Evan @ 03/22/10 03:01 PM | Comments (0)

 
 


60 votes?

Back during the days when Republicans were threatening to end the use of the filibuster for judicial nominees, I argued that the best reason to do so was that Democrats would be sure to throw the filibuster in the trash as soon as they came to power.

Guess what? They did. Those media types frothing at the mouth over the relatively-limited exception to the filibuster that was proposed? I don't seem to hear much from them these days.

Posted by Evan @ 03/22/10 02:53 PM | Comments (0)

 
 


15 March 2010

Or as they call it in the UK, Race of a Lifetime

I picked up Game Change last night, and I'm about 2/3 of the way through it now.

Humility wasn't Judith [Giuliani]'s strong suit. Nor was leaving Rudy to his business. She called him constantly when he was traveling without her, no matter where he was or what he was doing. On several occasions the calls arrived when Giuliani was meeting with donors or making speeches. He invariably picked up the phone. "Hello, dear," he said when she interrupted him while he was on stage addressing the annual meeting of the National Rifle Association. "I'm talking to the members of the NRA right now. Would you like to say hello?"

His staff concluded that Giuliani had no choice but to answer Judith's calls, because ignoring her risked dire consequences -- more dire than wrecking some speech. To the NRA members, Rudy apologized, but added, "It's alot better that way."

Interesting if this is really true, and I tend to believe that the book was reported pretty well. This was one of those moments that people looked at Rudy differently. Interrupting a speech to take a call from your wife? It would be a disaster for pretty much everyone not named Rudy, but for him it was a huge plus. Interesting to see that it wasn't actually a planned moment.

Perry endorsing Giuliani is still one of the more baffling things about that race to me. Well, that and how badly McCain ran his campaign from start to finish.

Posted by Evan @ 03/15/10 03:39 PM | Comments (0)

 
 


13 March 2010

Could Kay Bailey Hutchison win re-election if she ran?

That's the title of a coming post.

Posted by Evan @ 03/13/10 01:24 AM | Comments (0)

 
 


12 March 2010

Sigh, i'm tweeting

I'm on Twitter here as PerryVsWorld.

Posted by Evan @ 03/12/10 01:27 PM | Comments (0)

 
 


Factchecking Bill White, part 2

Bill White has been saying that Houston is not a sanctuary city.

The Congressional Reserch Service begs to differ.

Posted by Evan @ 03/12/10 12:26 PM | Comments (0)

 
 


There is value in a Houston Chronicle endorsement...

... if you're a Democrat?

According to Charles Kuffner, candidates endorsed by the Chron in the Dem primary went 19-7, with 4 in a runoff.

For Republicans, Chron-friendly candidates went 4-8, with 2 in a runoff.

Posted by Evan @ 03/12/10 12:10 PM | Comments (1)

 
 


RvK's Top 10 of...Rick vs Kay

Rick vs Kay is doing his top 10 races within the race. Worth a read.

Posted by Evan @ 03/12/10 11:57 AM | Comments (0)

 
 


11 March 2010

A Note on 2012

Put me in the Anybody But Romney camp.

Posted by Evan @ 03/11/10 04:39 PM | Comments (0)

 
 


Even California's politicians like Texas

California gubernatorial candidate Meg Whitman:

"If your ratings go down, it's OK," [Whitman] said. And: "You will never be popular in a turnaround." Yet her model of an executive-turned-politician is New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg -- and he is popular. And in her mind, California needs a turnaround. After she had been at eBay a few years, Whitman said, the executive staff began to wonder: If we had to start eBay all over again, would we do it in California?

Which state would you pick? I asked. She answered, "Probably Texas."

Posted by Evan @ 03/11/10 04:07 PM | Comments (0)

 
 


04 March 2010

Factchecking Bill White

AP (via DMN):

White said during his time as Houston mayor he worked closely with both the Bush and Obama administrations but also wasn't afraid to criticize them.

I just skipped over this as I skimmed the article. And then, when I finished, something didn't sit right. So I went back to reread the article. And aha! there it was.

I don't remember Bill White criticizing Obama. This is, after all, the man who ran this ad:

Perhaps in his own eyes, Bill White is equal to Obama and MLK.

So I spent 20 minutes googling. There are plenty of articles on Bill White criticizing Republicans, including the first result. I found nothing where Bill White criticized Obama. If Bill White has been criticizing Obama, he's been doing it very, very quietly.

Meanwhile, Robert Garrett reports:

[Bill White said he] took "a more aggressive approach" on immigration while mayor of Houston than did counterparts in practically every other U.S. and Texas city.

Correct me if I'm wrong, but the majority of other Texascities aren't sanctuary cities. Bill White supported the sanctuary city policy.

That's a more aggressive approach? I'm guessing alot of Texas swing voters would disagree.

Do you think the Statesman and DMN will factcheck this?

Posted by Evan @ 03/04/10 06:19 PM | Comments (4)

 
 


Barone on the primary

Michael Barone on Rick v. Kay:

(1)Perry won this not in rural and small town Texas but in metro Houston. This bodes well for him in the general election, since it indicates strength in the home base of the well regarded Democratic nominee, former Houston Mayor Bill White, who was nominated by an overwhelming margin.

(2) Medina, the candidate who wouldn’t disrespect the truthers, did best in the supposedly most sophisticated part of Texas, the Metroplex. Go figure.

(3) Hutchison, supposedly the candidate of urban sophisticates, did best in metro San Antonio and rural Texas. She held Perry below the 50% level needed to avoid a runoff in approximately half of Texas’s 254 counties; unfortunately for her, those counties didn't give her nearly a big enough margin to offset Perry’s advantage in metro Houston.

A few minor observations of my own.

1. Medina won 4 counties. So if Texas elections had an electoral college, she would've actually gotten some electoral votes. That is very embarrassing to me. None of those counties were large -- Medina didn't get four figure vote totals in any of them -- but it is an accomplishment, nonetheless.

2. See bolded above. I feel as if there are lots of Austinites feeling a little wounded. And the Houston establishment is muttering, "But I thought Bill White told us we were world class?"

3. Barone later semi-updated his piece, and included a list of primary turnouts over the years. It pretty clearly shows a long-term trend of Texans voting in Republican primaries rather than Democrats. But that's not too surprising, is it?

4. According to Barone, without metro Houston, Perry would be in a runoff.

5. I am always very suspicious of any analysis that mentions comparing votes received in a primary by the two major candidates. There really isn't much predictive power.

Posted by Evan @ 03/04/10 05:36 PM | Comments (0)

 
 


Rasmussen: Perry 49, White 43

Rasmussen poll, 3/3/2010. 500 LVs, 4.5% sampling MoE

(Numbers) in parentheses from 2/22/2010 poll.

Perry 49 (47)
White 43 (41)
Other 3 (5)
Undecided 6 (7)

55% Strongly Disapprove of Obama.

55/44 Job Approval/Disapproval for Perry

79% think voters should have to show a driver's license to vote.

62% oppose ObamaCare.

Posted by Evan @ 03/04/10 05:16 PM | Comments (0)

 
 


Pickens and Kerry, friends for life

T Boone Pickens met with John Kerry to talk about alternative energy.

You probably know the backstory. It involves a Swift Boat.

Posted by Evan @ 03/04/10 04:33 PM | Comments (0)

 
 


Kudos to Kay

Kudos to Kay for immediately endorsing Perry.

Why? Because it says something about her character. There's no doubt her politics are closer to Perry's than to White's. Yet politicians, in fits of political pique, often refuse to endorse when they lose. And later, they relish the spotlight as the media focuses on whether they will endorse. So they make the winner grovel a little, eat a little crow, and when the media spotlight starts to flicker, then they endorse.

Kay ignored the revenge factor and disregarded the spotlight. Good on her.

Posted by Evan @ 03/04/10 04:31 PM | Comments (0)

 
 


Beal on the economy

Dallas billionaire Andy Beal talks about his outlook for the economy.

Posted by Evan @ 03/04/10 04:21 PM | Comments (0)

 
 


Is being Governor of Texas harder than being governor of a smaller state?

Then a few weeks later, Politico posited that it was actually harder to be governor of a large state:

It happens so frequently now that it's almost becoming a political ritual -- the humbling collapse of the big-state governor, the species of officeholder that once dominated the American election landscape and provided a steady stream of White House prospects.
It cites recent examples in New York, Illinois, and California.
The challenges facing the governors also have much to do with the unmanageability of the complex, modern mega-state: a sprawling government bureaucracy, multiple media markets, diverse constituencies, an explosion of interest groups and, perhaps most significantly, the political toll of their distance from actual voters.

It's a pretty interesting theory.

Cited factors:
1. Declining coverage of state politics.
2. "Sprawling government bureaucracy"
3. Multiple media markets
4. Diverse constituencies
5. "distance from voters"
6. "explosion of interest groups"

Posted by Evan @ 03/04/10 08:50 AM | Comments (0)

 
 


You weren't thinking about the headline, were you, Senator?

The headlines says, Cornyn: Perry 'unfair' in painting Hutchison as representing Washington

The actual quote, below, is significantly softer...

"Gov. Perry was able to posture this as a campaign[of], 'are you for Texas or are you for Washington?' " Cornyn told reporters by conference call. "Sen. Hutchison ended up being painted as someone who represented Washington, when clearly she has been representing the best interests of Texas in the United States Senate for a long time.

Texas has a lot to be proud of in terms of its strong economy…. It's quite a contrast to some of the bad decisions that are made in Washington. Unfortunately for Sen. Hutchison, she got painted as part of the problem rather than part of the solution, and I think frankly, some of that was unfair."

If I'm Rick Perry, I'm thinking "Mind your own business." And if I'm Kay, I'm mad for not saying anything until it didn't matter.

Posted by Evan @ 03/04/10 07:14 AM | Comments (0)

 
 


LOLaments

Phillip Martin:

Bill White (D-Texas) vs. Rick Perry (R-Washington) is going to be a long battle.

I get that you're a Democratic partisan to the core, Mr. Martin, but...what? I'm pretty sure only Bill White has actually lived in Washington. And he was doing so to work for the Clinton White House.

Are you sure you really want to go there?

Posted by Evan @ 03/04/10 02:22 AM | Comments (0)

 
 


03 March 2010

Memo to Kinky Friedman

You've failed as a candidate on the GOP, Democrat, and Independent lines. Maybe it's time to give the Libertarians a shot?

Posted by Evan @ 03/03/10 01:30 PM | Comments (0)

 
 


Every election needs a map

Check the Texas Tribune if you want to see a color-coded map by county of last night's election results.

Posted by Evan @ 03/03/10 08:04 AM | Comments (0)

 
 


Does Perry v KBH affect Charlie Crist?

After seeing Kay Bailey Hutchison going down by 20%, do you think Charlie Crist is more likely to quit the party and run against Marco Rubio as an independent?

Maybe I'm the only one who doesn't understand why he doesn't just go back to being the governor of Florida.

Posted by Evan @ 03/03/10 02:12 AM | Comments (0)

 
 


Matthew Dowd to be the new David Brinkley?

Bush 04 chief strategist Matthew Dowd will have a short stint in the anchor seat of ABC's This Week.

Posted by Evan @ 03/03/10 02:02 AM | Comments (0)

 
 


02 March 2010

Election night results

8:36 Going to start updating from the top. We can probably expect early voting to be about 50% of the electorate. It's not an unbiased sample, as it probably captures the most motivated supporters, and won't capture latebreakers although I'm not sure any of the big races had big events that significantly changed the race.

That is all to say that for a large majority of races, the early results will be very similar to the ultimate results. I think there's a possibility that White's number come down, but I think he's impressively won outright by a good margin. It helps to have such low expectations!

1:50 Didn't really think there was anything worth updating til the end of the night.
Republicans: 97.7% of the vote in. Perry 51, Hutch 30.5, Medina 18.5. Porter 60 Carillo 40, super embarrassing for the GOP. Will Hurd and Quico Canseco in a runoff in CD23. Flores and Curnock in a runoff in CD17. Not much else worth mentioning of the Congressional races. Looks like Lehrmann and Green in the Supreme Court place 3, since it's practically a five-way tie, that could definitely change. On the SBOE, looks like McLeroy went down to Ratliff, and Miller to Clayton.

Of the HD races, Betty Brown is losing by 100 votes in HD4, Tommy Merritt lost in HD7, Hopson won 60% in HD11. Fred Brown going to a runoff with Winn. Schwertner (surprisingly?) avoided a runoff in HD20, Solomons squeaked it out by 3%. Taylor and Jackson in HD66 runoff. Dee Margo avoided a runoff in HD78. Delwin Jones in a runoff with Perry in Lubbock. Huberty and Curling in HD127 runoff. Woodfill in a runoff to be Harris County GOP Chair.

2:15 Democrats: Sheila! got 66% in CD18. Bill White 76, Shami 13. Chavez-Thompson 53, Earle 35. Kinky loses again, this time to Gilbert. Uribe sneaked it out. Ybarra lost in HD43. Norma Chavez barely trails Gonzalez in El Paso.

And Borris Miles is 9 votes ahead of Al Edwards! Recount!
------------------
7:10 As of right now, Perry 51, Medina 17, KBH 31
7:11 Also as of right now, White 76, Shami 14, Alvarado 4. Chavez-Thompson also would avoid a runoff with 54 to Earle's 36. we've got a long way to go though
7:14 76 from White would be impressive given recent Dem primary results where the establishment candidate failed to get the votes that they should have. With a quick glance, it looks like those numbers might be largely composed of San Antonio and Houston, eg, White's base demographically as he was born in San Antonio and was mayor of Houston. So perhaps those numbers will go down.

7:48 Perry 52, KBH 31, Medina 18. Embarrassingly for Republicans, right now Victor Carrillo is going down 60 to 40.

7:51 Wow. Supreme Court place 3 is close to a five way tie for the Republicans. They've all got close to 18% of the vote.

7:53 All these as of right now: Betty Brown is a coinflip vs Lance Gooden in HD4 for the GOP in early voting....GOP maverick Tommy Merritt is losing by a few points in early voting in HD7, yet partyswitcher Chuck Hopson is surprisingly holding on in HD11. Sid Miller is a coinflip in HD59, as is Burt Solomons in HD65. HD66 in Plano looks like a runoff between Taylor and Jackson. Delwin Jones is headed to a runoff right now. Todd Smith is up 15.

8:06 White hanging with about 75%, Shami 12. None of the results have come in from HD18, which should be a pretty solid White district, most would assume. Chavez-Thompson went a few points below 50, but is now back up over 50. Kinky losing to Hank Gilbert by 10. As for Dem house primaries, early vote has Sheila! winning big, Norma Chavez in a runoff, Rios Ybarra losing big, and Al Edwards up 10

Posted by Evan @ 03/02/10 07:16 PM | Comments (0)

 
 


Final predictions

Perry 51
Hutchison 34
Medina 15

No further comments on the Dems, as I'd really not have too much confidence in whatever I wrote.

Posted by Evan @ 03/02/10 12:42 AM | Comments (2)

 
 


Rick Connelly has his list of 5 reasons why KBH is losing:

1. The kick-off.
2. The dithering over whether she'd quit the Senate.
3. The endorsements by Sec Baker/HW.
4. The abortion question in the debate.
5. The recent interview she gave to the AP where she said she was surprised at Perry's Washington attacks.
(I paraphrased, for clarity's sake)

For the record, I disagree with number three. By no means do I think those endorsements hurt her, I just think they didn't help much. Not a bad list, but probably not the list I would have made

I would have Kay's "I'm staying in Washington to fight the government takeover of health care" on my list. She was already looking foolish for indecisiveness over the Senate and...that was what she came up with? Who knows, maybe that's really what she felt in her bones, but that's just not who Kay Bailey Hutchison was over almost two decades in the Senate.

As a Senator, Kay never led the fight for or against any issue. To be honest, I can't think of any issue where she is the first Senator who comes to mind. Maybe the Love Field fight? And in that, she was mostly trying to broker a deal between competing factions of an industry. So when delays resigning her Senate seat, it reeked of being artificial.

In my opinion, one of Kay's regrets when this is over will be that she didn't unfilter herself and say what she wanted to say.

Posted by Evan @ 03/02/10 12:25 AM | Comments (1)

 
 


Why Kay is unlikely to have a chance even if there is a runoff

Balz, WaPo:

Hutchison says she did not challenge Perry four years ago because she was told that he would not run in 2010. "He said to everyone, 'I only want one more term,' " she said. "So I did step aside when I could have won."

I started this blog many moons ago because I was annoyed that every media account I read declared that Hutchison would trounce Perry in 06. It was obviously wrong then and was likely to be wrong in the future.

So Hutchison is a little divorced from reality. She certainly wouldn't be the first politician to have that happen to her. But it doesn't make me think that KBH is going to figure out how to change the dynamic that is necessary to win a runoff.

Posted by Evan @ 03/02/10 12:11 AM | Comments (0)

 
 


01 March 2010

Who will Kay endorse?

It's Election Day Eve, but I'm thinking about whether Kay will endorse Perry against White in November?*

I would assume she'd quietly do the perfunctory-endorsement-in-a-few-months route, but she does seem to have substantial enmity with Perry. She could also just not endorse, which probably wouldn't be a big deal. She could endorse White, but that seems unlikely. If she did pull a Scozzafava (doubt I spelled that right), she'd really just validate everyone that didn't vote for her.

*Truthfully I feel a little guilty asking the question, since Kay still has some strengths that could win her a runoff. However, even if she squeaks into a runoff tomorrow, to win she'd have to figure out how to change the dynamic. And since she's been planning this race for 6 years...

Posted by Evan @ 03/01/10 11:22 PM | Comments (0)

 
 


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