Best Dem campaign in last 10 years?
Mark Jones' post about benchmarking Bill White's performance got me thinking about which Democrat ran the best statewide campaign in the last decade.
John Sharp got the highest percentage when he snagged 46% and held Dewhurst to 51.77%, so he'd probably be most people's pick. I guess you could say Chris Bell for losing by only 9% on the top-of-the-ticket, although if you paid attention to that race it would probably be difficult to pick to pick Bell. You might be tempted to pick White, although even if he keeps the numbers in the single digits, I'd argue that he never put together a possible winning strategy, more like a "minimize the margin of deficit" strategy.
Obviously, there's no right answer, but I would actually go with Ron Kirk. He might have lost 55-43, but winning a Senate seat is much harder than winning the gubernatorial mansion for Democrats in a Republican state. He had the polls pretty close until the end,when most of the late-breakers went for Cornyn. He was running in a nearly impossible situation, at the height of W's popularity in Texas and in a Republican year. So even though Sharp lost by less in the same year, Kirk had a much tougher race, so I'd pick the former mayor of Dallas.
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