But I fear the spectacle that may unfold among these praiseworthy Republicans as the May 27 runoff draws near. When generally similar candidates square off, the modern habit is to find ancillary matters to amplify and stigmatize in the hope that voters will be sufficiently repelled by an opponent.
I guess we can look to Dewhurst for more ads suggesting that Patrick personally loaded countless illegals into a van to bring them across the river. Thatís been the tone his rivals have taken since Jerry Patterson unearthed some undocumented guy hired at a Patrick-owned sports bar 30 years ago. Patrick says it was without his knowledge, and the charge did not stick.
Dewhurst should stick to the worthy things he has done as lieutenant governor, and they are many. Patrick should stick, as he largely has, with his vision of changes he wishes to make as an alternative.
Could any of the second place finishers win the runoff? Probably not.
Dewhurst hasn't broken the 45% ceiling in 4 years in any ballot test. Branch was in freefall towards the end of the primary. The downballot races can sometimes surprise you, but is a liberal Republican like Tommy Merritt somehow going to get over 50%? Unlikely. Can Ryan Sitton go from 12 down when Wayne Christian only needs 8% more? Unlikely.
Who are we to judge how David Dewhurst chooses to spend his fortune? He's never spent it particularly wisely until now, so we shouldn't be surprised if he spends some more. On the other hand, he's been spending it more judiciously this cycle.
Two quick points:
1) There is more substance to the charge that Dan Patrick hired illegal immigrants than the asinine Cruz/China charge. It goes to the very heart of Dan Patrick's candidacy. Patterson didn't have the money to put any force behind his charge.
If you were Dewhurst, you might think it is worth putting $2 million bucks behind ads if they were voiced by someone the median GOP primary voter finds credible. After those 2 weeks, see if there's enough movement to fire more bullets or just give up.
2) Dewhurst is hoping for Dan Patrick to pull a Todd Akin. As Cory Crow points out, Dan Patrick debates one of the Castro brothers in a month. May as well see what happens.
Unfortunately for Dewhurst, he's never laid out much of an agenda for the future. The credibility necessary for attack ads is low.
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