Texas Weekly (subscription required, but they're a mustread):
Call some pollsters and they'll talk to you about the votes due to a candidate just for the party label attached to that candidate's name. You can argue about the numbers, so we'll just be arbitrary about it: In the 2002 elections, David Dewhurst won with the smallest share of votes collected by any statewide Republican in a race with a Democrat: 52 percent. Marty Akins was on the Democratic end of that scale, getting the smallest share of the vote for a Democrat running against a Republican in a statewide race: 33 percent.They note a few ways the analysis could change: a Perry mistake, a school finance disaster, or Kinky/Carole gaining traction.
Some pollsters — reputable people, from good families, even — will tell you that Kinky Friedman and Carole Keeton Strayhorn will be fighting over what's left, plus whatever they can whittle away from those two party base votes. The conventional wisdom is that a five-way race with a Republican, a Democrat, a Libertarian and two independents would produce a Republican governor who gets into office with less than 50 percent of the vote.
Rick Perry's camp subscribes to that idea and so do many consultants we've jabbered with who aren't directly involved in anyone's campaign for governor. But there are some interesting possibilities out there that Friedman and Strayhorn hope to see to fruition.
They also note the Democrats' plan, which is to focus on the base, and hope Strayhorn/Kinky split independents and leech GOP votes from Perry.
I agree with most of this, as it's remarkably similar to my analysis of the race several days ago when Strayhorn made her announcement.
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