Straus, Craddick, and the prevailing national winds
¿Me meto en la política de la votacíon para el "Speaker"? Suspiro...bueno.
David Jennings has been firmly defending Straus over at BigJolly Politics (a site to which, incidentally, I should link much more often) by pointing out that under Craddick, Republicans lost 12 seats while under Straus they gained 25 seats.
Not so fast, says EmpowerTexans:
In truth, the Texas GOP’s down-ballot races fell victim to the ’08 national Obama-wave, which brought out many new voters interested in voting for president and stuck on with the Democrats down-ballot. Texas, being one of several states that practices straight-ticket voting, allowed these voters to fill in a single bubble to vote for every Democrat on the ballot, including state and local candidates. These voters, plus distaste for the national GOP ticket, turned out to be a deadly combination for Republicans.
Fast forward to 2010 and the pendulum swung in the opposite direction. National distaste for the president and his party have sent voters flocking to the GOP, bringing their votes to state-wide GOP candidates as well.
I pretty much agree with that. It might be that Craddick engendered some negative coverage by the Austin press corps, and that Straus so far doesn't, but I think that effect is pretty marginal. It could've swung a few seats, or it could've swung zero.
But if he fails to score a point by saying +25, -12, in my judgment Big Jolly does score a point by pointing out that if it was a national election, then, "[that] makes their current argument that the November elections meant that Texans were crying out for a new speaker, um, shall we say…a bit strange?"
Agreed. Texans were largely voting against Barack Obama in November. And back in the primary, Straus wasn't an issue in many campaigns.
Reading any more into the election results is a mistake with regards to the race for the speakership.
Texans countered Obama wave in Nov
Obama wave brought Joe Straus to power
Texans countered Straus power
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