Prognosticating is fun
Jason Embry has his own analysis article up at the Statesman:
"You'd have to say as of today (Perry) is still the favorite but a new dynamic was introduced," said Bruce Buchanan, who teaches government at the University of Texas. "The new dynamic is that Perry will have an opponent with relatively deep pockets and a relatively high profile for eight more months than he would have if Strayhorn had stayed in the Republican primary."Is Jillson serious? Redistricting is a process issue, and process issues are not persuasive issues to voters unless they can be placed in a larger context. That's not easy to do. As a political issue, redistricting is something that is best used to raise money through direct mail.
A candidate does not need a majority of the vote for victory.
The first obstacles in front of Strayhorn and Friedman, though, are landing on the November ballot by getting 45,540 signatures from registered voters who do not participate in this year's Republican or Democratic primaries.
"What somebody like Strayhorn has to do is capture all the independent vote, which is not much more than 15 or 20 percent, and then detach a significant number of Republicans and Democrats in order to get to a margin as great as the margin that Perry would get," Buchanan said.
Mike Baselice, a pollster who works for Perry, said the 2002 statewide elections indicate that about 50 percent of Texans are Republicans and 35 percent are Democrats.
"Give Strayhorn all the independent votes and give her 5 percent more from Republicans and Democrats, and she's up to 25 percent," Baselice said. "That's like the worst-case scenario for the Republican and Democrat and the best case for her. And what about Kinky Friedman getting some of the independent vote?"
He said he has not done any polling on a four-candidate race. Strayhorn's camp last month declined to say whether they were behind a poll that asked voters whether they would support her as an independent.
Perry, who faces three little-known challengers in the GOP primary, will have to deal with potential Republican pitfalls. Cal Jillson, a political science professor at Southern Methodist University, said Perry could lose moderate Republicans who were suspicious of the 2003 congressional redistricting plan that Republicans pushed in the Legislature and which the U.S. Supreme Court has agreed to review.
I've long respected Baselice as one of the best, and I basically agree with him, since what he says is similar to what I said yesterday my own long analysis.
It's definitely possible for Strayhorn or Friedman to draw large numbers away from the Republican or Democrat lines, but it's a very high hurdle to jump. There's still a large segment of voters who will vote for their party's nominee.
The 2003 redistricting was sufficiently nasty and drawn-out that I think you could get some mileage out of it by bashing "blind partisanship" etc etc etc, but I agree it's unlikely to do be worth much. Enough time has passed that the non-partisan types who might have been swayed by that have forgotten it and moved onto other things.
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