A few more bits of 2014 election analysis:
Archive for the ‘Elections’ Category
Enjoy these two moderately lengthy dissections of liberal failures to turn Texas blue:
First, here’s this Jay Root/Texas Tribune piece by way of the Washington Post on why Wendy Davis lost the election. The piece soft-peddles Davis’ incompetence as a campaigner, and fails to mention her comparative unpopularity with Hispanics and the overall failure of the Democratic Party’s “War on Women” campaign strategy, of which Davis was a central piece, but is otherwise reasonably accurate.
Second, here’s a piece on just how comprehensive Battleground Texas’ failure was. It also goes into down-ballot failures for Battleground Texas that I haven’t had time to look at yet:
In House District 23, which even Republican Party of Texas Chairman Steve Munisteri had described as “neck-and-neck,” Democrat Susan Criss lost to Republican Wayne Faircloth by nearly 10 points. Rodney Anderson, the Republican candidate, bested Democrat Susan Motley by more than 12 points in House District 105. And incumbent state Rep. Philip Cortez, D-San Antonio, was toppled by Republican Rick Galindo, who lost by nearly 6 points.
The piece also notes that, for all the money Battleground Texas put into the Wendy Davis campaign, she finished a whopping two points above Democratic Agriculture Commissioner nominee Jim Hogan, who didn’t campaign at all.
Hat tip: Erick Erickson, who notes “bring down a bunch of liberal yankees who hate the ROTC, traditional values, the Alamo, and Texas itself and you’re setting the stage for disaster.” Also “Battleground Texas claims they are not going away. Thank goodness. They should stick around and serve as a money sink for guys like Tom Steyer lest that money go to other states.”
Erickson touches on something I want to expand upon, namely the obvious distaste in-state liberal elites show for all manner of Texas traditions. Even when they embrace “moderate” positions on, say, gun control or energy regulation, they give off the reek of patronizing condescension. You always get the impression that these people would rather be living in New York City or San Francisco than anyplace in Texas. No matter how much they proclaim a love of football, cowboy boots or country music, they always give the impression of going through the motions as a sop for those gun-toting redneck freaks of JesusLand. (Bob Bullock was probably the last major Texas Democrat who seemed like he wasn’t faking it, and Anne Richards was the last one who was able to fake it convincingly.) Their real constituents are not Texans, but the left-wing politicians, trial lawyers, national media and urban elites who make up the liberal overclass.
With all the votes in, we can start analyzing some of odder aspects of the Texas statewide race results.
For those watching the race, it’s no surprise that (discounting 2006′s strange four-way race) Wendy Davis was the worst-performing Democratic gubernatorial candidate this century. The surprising thing is that, as bad as she was, Davis was the Democrat’s best statewide candidate this year. Her 38.9% was the highest statewide vote percentage by any Texas Democrat in 2014. Leticia Van de Putte’s 38.7% was the second highest. Otherwise statewide Democratic candidates ranged from a low of 34.3% for invisible Senate candidate David Alameel to a high of 38% for Attorney General candidate Sam Houston.
And those who said Abbott would outpoll Dan Patrick were right…but only by 1.2%.
Abbott took ten counties that Bill White won in 2010: Harris, Bexar, Brooks, Culberson, Falls, Foard, Kleberg, La Salle, Reeves and Trinity. Harris (Houston) and Bexar (San Antonio) are the 800-pound gorillas on that list. In 2012, Ted Cruz won Harris by 2% (while Romney was edged there by a thousand votes) while losing Bexar by 4%. For a while Democrats were able to stay competitive statewide by racking up big margins in those urban counties even while they were losing rural and suburban counties. If Republicans can now win those counties outright, it may be a long, long time before a Democrat can win statewide again.
Two statewide Republican candidates got more votes than Abbott’s 2,790,227: Senator John Cornyn and Land Commissioner-elect George P. Bush. The rest of the country may suffer from Bush-fatigue (though I imagine that it’s now dwarfed by Obama-fatigue), but you’d be hard-pressed to find signs of it in Texas…
Since Democrats failed to contest three statewide court races, both the Libertarian and Green parties reached the minimum 5% threshold to maintain ballot access in 2016.
Shockingly, David Weigel actually brings the wood when discussing Battleground Texas:
“These are the greatest geniuses of data in the f**king world and they can’t figure out that less people voted?” asked Carney. “Every publicly pronounced goal of Battleground, every one, has been an abject failure.”
Davis only out-performed the 2010 ticket in her home base of Tarrant County (Ft. Worth).
Oh, and it got worse. Abbott’s campaign said throughout the campaign that it would poach Latino voters, especially in the Rio Grande valley. A quick look at a Texas map might tell you that Abbott failed. Not quite true. Perry had lost Hidalgo County (McAllen) by 34 points; Abbott kept the margin down to 28 points. Perry had lost Webb County by 53 points; Abbott lost it by 39. In exit polling, Perry ended up pulling only 38 percent of the Latino vote. Abbott won 44 percent of it, about what was expected in a Texas Tribune poll that Davis allies tried to debunk. Abbott actually won Latino men, 50-49 over Davis. The Democratic wane and Republican outreach helped oust Rep. Pete Gallego, elected in 2012 in a district that sprawled across most of the border. He won 96,477 votes that year; he won only 55,436 this year, allowing black Republican Will Hurd to win, despite being out-fundraised 2-1.
Weigel may be a partisan, but at least he can read a spreadsheet…
A few quick post-election links:
Democrats didn’t just lose last night, they got slaughtered up and down the ballot:
— Steven Dennis (@StevenTDennis) November 5, 2014
Davis is currently at 38.1%. Just for the record, I called Wendy Davis dropping below Tony Sanchez’s 39.96% back in September.
In local election news, Williamson County Republicans Tony Dale and Larry Gonzalez both won decisively over their Dem challengers.
OK, I’m heading home. This isn’t a Republican landslide, it’s a Republican tidal wave. Enjoy it now. Tomorrow the hard work begins.
Congratulations to Greg Abbott on being elected governor of Texas!
News media now saying Ernst wins and Republicans take control of the senate.
Republican Joni Ernst takes lead in Iowa.
A very solid victory speech, with lots of family thanked.
Wendy Davis called Abbott to congratulate him.
Nope, family members first. Daughter
Lights went down and they’re about to introduce Abbott.
Fox just called Kansas Senate race for Republican Roberts.
Wendy Davis didn’t even win Texas women.
Right now Wendy Davis is running behind Tony Sanchez’s 39.97% in 2002. $38%.
Ran into Sen. John Cornyn on my way to the bathroom. Congratulated him. Now he’s being interviewed 3 feet away from me.
Wisconsin Governor’s race called for Republican Scott Walker.
We project that Scott Walker has SURVIVED his fight with Mary Burke. #WIGov
— AoSHQ Decision Desk (@AoSHQDD) November 5, 2014
Governor Perry speaking after a huge round of applause.
— Kate O'Hare Writes (@KateOH) November 5, 2014
Not a shock, but someone calling it this early is.
Scene from Texas just a few minutes ago. pic.twitter.com/FOzotKgFr3
— Erick Erickson (@EWErickson) November 5, 2014
Abbott spokesman saying they crushed Democrats AND BattleGround Texas. “Helping them waste their money, the way Democrats always do.”
Calling West Virginia Senate race for for Republican Capito. Not a surprise, but that’s a flip from D to R.
— Karen Borta (@CBS11Karen) November 5, 2014
Welp RT @kherman: Exit polls show Abbott carried women by 52-47 margin over Davis.
— daveweigel (@daveweigel) November 5, 2014
Republican Rounds projected to win SD Sen. No surprise.
Republican Ed Gillispie beating Warner in VA; not final, but if true that would indicate a truly epic Republican wave.
GOP Sen pickups: Cotton beats Pryor in Arkansas,
OK, now I’m in on Twitter, but on another browser…
Hi there! I’m blogging from the Greg Abbott Victory Party at the ACL theater. Can’t seem to get Twitter to take my password, so this may just be LiveBlog rather than LiveTweet.
Election day is tomorrow! Now would be a good time to locate your voter registration card…
Early voting ends tomorrow in Texas. Plan accordingly…
Has there ever been a campaign with as much national hype behind it as Wendy Davis’ that ended up doing so poorly? Maybe Edmund Muskie’s Presidential race in 1972, Ed Koch’s Governor’s run in 1982, or Gary Hart’s abortive 1988 Presidential run. But all those were already major political players before running smack into Nemesis, and Muskie and Koch still had careers after their debacles.
Perhaps McGovern’s 1972 general election campaign comes closest, with one disastrous decision following another and a healthy streak of bad luck to boot. (Which only compounds the idiocy of Nixon’s dirty tricks team monkeywrenching an election that was already in the bag.) But the McGovern 1972 team can rightfully claim to have displayed real tactical brilliance in winning the nomination in the first place. And McGovern was already a Senator.
Davis doesn’t even have that going for her. This was her first (and undoubtedly her last) statewide race. After this horrendous showing, I’m not sure Democrats would even nominate her for the Railroad Commission.
Various media outlets are already busy writing Davis’ political obituary:
And to top it all off, no one is buying Davis’ book:
Despite enormous levels of media buzz, Nielsen BookScan numbers provided to Slate by a publishing source show only 4,317 copies of the memoir, called Forgetting to Be Afraid, have been sold since its Sept. 9 publication.
Nielsen BookScan doesn’t include all book sales, notably sales at many independent retailers, so the actual number of copies sold is probably higher, although still likely below 6,000. As a point of comparison, Elizabeth Warren’s memoir, A Fighting Chance, sold more than 70,000 copies in its first few months on shelves. And David Limbaugh’s book Jesus on Trial, which was published the day before Davis’, has sold about 65,000 copies, including 6,778 just last week, according to BookScan.
In some cases, selling 6,000 hardback books would be a good number. For a first-time novelist, for instance, 6,000 hardbacks would be a pretty good number. (And it’s more than all but one of this year’s Booker Prize nominees sold in the UK.)
But for a book with a $132,000 partial advance? Not so much…