Texas Blue?

A good column from Paul Burka on the outstanding turnout in the Democratic Primary and the possibility of renewal for Texas Democrats. Put me in the “cautiously pessimistic” column on that. If we see a new Blue trend, it will have less to do with Democratic competence than (as at the national level) GOP incompetence, cupidity and arrogance. Also, Democrats will have to depend on a high level of Republican ennui, which isn’t really a strong foundation for a re-alignment. In decreasing order of likelihood, I could see A) winning a statewide judicial race; B) winning control of the State House; or C) Rick Noriega beating Cornyn.

Published in: on February 26, 2008 at 1:52 pm  Comments (5)  

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  1. So I guess now were going to see how truly skilled Tom DeLay was at gerrymandering the state’s electoral districts.

    The true test…can your work survive a Democratic tsunami? (OK maybe just a wave, but you get what I mean.)

  2. Gerrymandering is harder in the state house since state law requires the use of whole counties in blocks outside of the major urban counties. And in the major urban areas, particularly the suburbs, demographics have been trending Blue, which is why the Democrats have picked up seats in the last few special elections. The State Senate, on the other hand, is probably stuck GOP for the forseeable future; they’ve had it since 1993 anyway and the gerrymandering there is probably strong enough to withstand anything short of an electoral Armageddon. Also, because of the weirdness of Texas politics, if Democrats get close to a majority and the handful of remaining Republican moderates survive primary challenges, it is likely that a moderate Democrat could be Speaker. Which would be great, since the current speaker Tom Craddick is a pissant, jacked-up, little tin dictator who has survived this long along because about 10 Democrats (nearly all of whom have primary challengers) keep carrying water for him.

  3. I think the high turnout in the Democratic primary has a lot more to do with cross-voting than anything else. I know a LOT of Texas Republicans who voted for Hillary in the primary because they think she’ll be easier to beat than Obama. I don’t see the Democrats winning big in Texas in the foreseeable future.

  4. I think the Republicans would like to think the high turnout has to do with crossover voting but I sincerely doubt it, especially considering the level of organizing required for that would be impossible to hide and all anyone has is anecdotal evidence. Also, turnout in the Republican primary has been up as well, though only up by about half as much as the Democrats. I think it’s much more likely that the increase is from Democrats who don’t usually vote in primaries and Independents. I do agree that it will still be some time before Democrats are seriously competitive statewide. Their best best this year is a judicial race or (less likely) knocking off Cornyn.

  5. For most counties in Tx (like my home county of Hood) crossover voting from Republican to Democratic makes no more sense than Ralph Nader or Lyndon LaRouche.

    Why on earth would a Republican in Hood County vote cross and vote in the Democratic primary? The ONLY Democratic race is the presidential one, where the Republican primary ballot is the defacto election for no less than EIGHT county offices because there will not be a Democratic challenger. The chances of either Hillary of Obama winning Texas are about the same as me being a Supreme Court Justice, and it looks like Obama’s going to carry at least the Texas delegate count anyway.

    On the other hand, there’s lots of incentive for Democratic voters to cross vote- it’s the only way we have any say in our local politics, holding our nose the whole way. I’ve voted in Republican primaries for that very reason. I would imagine that at least some of the Democratic turnout is due to these locked-in crossover voters finally having a compelling enough reason to vote in their “natural” party.

    Which makes me wonder. It’s been a while since I’ve seen a LaRouchie. Maybe they only come out in warm weather.

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