Posts Tagged ‘Chris Bell’

Texas Governor’s Race Update for September 12, 2014

Friday, September 12th, 2014

Reporting on the Wendy Davis campaign at this point is like reporting on the Titanic 80% of the way into the sinking (“And there goes the second smokestack under the waves!”). But someone has to write a first draft of those epic failures for the historical record, so let’s press on…

Right now polls show Greg Abbott up a comfortable 18 points over Davis, 54% to 36%.

It’s gotten so bad that the Davis campaign “leaked” one of those ridiculous, can’t remotely trust them “internal polls” that shows her a mere 8 points behind Abbott, 38% to his 46%. You know it’s bad when you can’t even pretend to be winning in your own fantasy land poll.

Also, the Abbott campaign filed an ethics complaint against the Davis campaign for using her campaign funds to attend a book signing in New York City. (I wonder if her New York City signing had the same strict conditions as her Austin signing.) Since Davis did have one fundraising event on the trip, I doubt the complaint will succeed legally, but it does further the Abbott campaign’s picture of Davis as a woman who has more supporters in New York and California than in Texas.

The big question at this point is: What’s the floor for how poorly Wendy Davis can do in the general election? I think she can drop below the 39.96% Tony Sanchez garnered in 2002. I don’t see her eclipsing the pitiful low-mark of Garry Mauro’s 31.18% in 1998, much less Chris Bell’s 29.79% in the 4-way Perry-Bell-Strayhorn-Friedman race in 2006. Davis has garnered a lot more fawning media attention than Sanchez ever got, and didn’t have the bruising primary fight Sanchez had against Dan Morales, much less one where her opponent ended up endorsing the Republican nominee, as Morales did. On the other hand, Davis doesn’t have $60 million of her own money to spend on her campaign the way Sanchez did.

Burka Gets Kinky

Thursday, July 25th, 2013

Liberal fossil Paul Burka is peeved that Kinky Friedman might run for office again. “When Friedman ran for governor in 2006, he helped make it impossible for Rick Perry to lose in a four-way race. By helping to divide the vote among four candidates, he enabled Perry to win with a pitiful plurality of 39%. I have no doubt that Friedman’s intention was to help Perry.”

Burka calls another possible Friedman run “sick comedy.”

A few points:

  1. When Friedman jumped into the 2006 Governor’s race as an independent in early 2005, it wasn’t a four-way race. It only turned into one when Comptroller Carole Stewart Keeton McClellan Rylander Strayhorn realized that Perry was going to slaughter her in the GOP primary and dropped out to run as an independent.
  2. Watching the race unfold, I didn’t get the impression Friedman was running to ensure Perry’s re-election, but A.) Because he thought it would be fun to run for governor (and maybe even fun to be elected governor), B.) He was dissatisfied with the status quo, and C.) Given Jesse Ventura’s fairly recently election as Minnesota Governor, Friedman thought he could win as an independent. He was wrong, but it didn’t look like an inherently risible proposition when he ran.
  3. If Perry’s 39% was pitiful, what do we call Democrat Chris Bell’s 29%?
  4. By competitiveness standards, have Democrats run any “non-joke” candidates statewide in Texas lately?

Now, I happen to agree with Burka’s assessment of Friedman’s political chances. But more interesting is the reason he feels the need to opine on them.

Underlying Burka’s lament, and his obvious bitterness over Kinky’s candidacy, is the idea popular among his fellow liberal journalists that someone could have beaten Perry in 2006 if Kinky hadn’t split the vote. In some ways it’s a defensible position, as that was a “Bush Fatigue” wave year for Democrats and Perry was suffering from a number of self-inflicted wounds (toll roads, the Trans-Texas Corridor proposal, etc.). And maybe a popular, polished, well-funded Democratic candidate just might have had a chance to defeat Perry in 2006. Unfortunately for the Democrats (though fortunately for us), none was apparent on the scene in 2006. Or any time, really, since Bob Bullock and Ann Richards retired. Democrats didn’t come close to sending Perry home in 2006, and they haven’t any time since, letting him retire undefeated in gubernatorial contests.

And so Burka’s great white whale escaped yet again…

New Poll Shows Support for Dewhurst Down to 22%

Wednesday, November 2nd, 2011

The Ted Cruz campaign noted that a new UT/Texas Tribune poll showed Lt. Governor David Dewhurst’s support among Republican voters down to 22%, which is about half what previous polls have shown, and even less than that possibly anomalous Azimuth Research Group poll that showed both Cruz and Dewhurst tied around 30%. The UT/TT poll shows Cruz in second place at 10%, with a whopping 50% undecided. Still, to have such huge name recognition and to only be sitting at 22% must be frustrating for Team Dewhurst.

The same poll shows Ricardo Sanchez at a mere 11% of Democratic voters. He’s even running behind Chris Bell at 15%, even though Bell isn’t in the race…

Texas 2012 Senate Race Websites (and Tidbits)

Tuesday, April 12th, 2011

Note: A more detailed and up-to-date list of Texas Senate Candidate Websites can be found here.

For today’s 2012 Texas Senate Race coverage, I thought I would provide a handy list of all the candidate’s own websites (listed alphabetically).

Websites for 2012 Republican Senate Candidates

  • Ted Cruz
  • David Dewhurst has not announced he’s running yet, so here’s his official Lieutenant Governor’s page
  • Elizabeth Ames Jones
  • Tom Leppert
  • Michael Williams
  • Roger Williams
  • Since I’m trying to provide a complete lineup, here are some very, very longshots that have declared for the Republican primary:

  • Glenn Addison
  • Andrew Castanuela
  • Lela Pittenger
  • I’ve seen reports that a Nick Latham is running (he declared in 2009), but it’s hard to take him seriously as even a longshot candidate when all the links on his website are 404.

    Websites for 2012 Democratic Senate Candidates

    Through diligent research, I have finally found an actual, declared candidate for the Democratic nomination. Ladies and gentlemen, I give you your de facto Democratic Senate front-runner, Sean Hubbard. Yes, it’s a Facebook page. I was able to reach Hubbard by email, and he says he’s just waiting for the domain transfer for his actual campaign website to go through. To his credit, that Facebook page has been updated recently, which puts him one up on John Sharp. (Actually, it appears that a few other people have finally posted encouragement on Sharp’s Facebook page, although Sharp himself still hasn’t posted in more than a year.) One problem facing Hubbard is that Texas voters might be a little hesitant to vote for someone who looks like he still gets carded trying to buy a beer…

    As for other Democratic Senate candidates, I sent email to Sharp to see if he was running and received no reply. I emailed Chet Edwards today, but there hasn’t been much time for him to get back to me. I see Chris Bell’s name being bandied about, but his law firm doesn’t have an e-mail address for him, and it seems rude to bug him by phone.

    Supposedly there’s a transsexual bodybuilder named Chris Tina Bruce running as an independent, but I can’t find a campaign website. Given the paucity of Democratic candidates, I’m not sure why Bruce doesn’t just declare for the Democratic primary, as the field is wide open…

    And finally a dollop of Senate race tidbits:

  • Ted Cruz says he has raised (extend Dr. Evil pinkie) one MILLION dollars for his campaign.
  • Tom Leppert says he’s raised $2.6 million…but that includes a $1.6 million loan from himself to his campaign.
  • Ted Cruz gets some serious love from The Weekly Standard.
  • Still More 2012 Texas Senate Candidate News

    Friday, January 21st, 2011

    Add Republican Rep. Mike McCaul to the list of names of those considering a run.

    Polls show Dewhurst doing the best in polls against potential Democratic challengers, but all named Republicans beat all named Democrats. Given the state of Texas politics, that sounds about right.

    On the Democratic side, San Antonio Mayor Julian Castro says he’s not running. Bill White also says no, despite Nate Silver’s pimping. Houston Sheriff Adrian Garcia also says he’s not interested, but his statement (“I have no interest in running for U.S. Senate at this time”) leaves a good bit more wiggle room.

    I keep hearing that John Sharp is going to run, but I wonder if anyone has told Sharp. He was making noises about it last March, and since then has been pretty much invisible. Signs of a Chet Edwards Senate run are even more non-apparent on the web.

    The Texas Tribune lists all sorts of wacky possibilities: Chris Bell (Maybe), George Prescott Bush (Bush41’s grandson, and No), Kinky Friedman (probably not, though he can’t do much worse than many of the other Democratic possibilities), Craig James (Maybe, but hard to see him gaining any traction in the Republican field; try running for the House first), Florence Shapiro (another Maybe, another person who couldn’t find traction in the Republican field), Leticia Van Putte (who?), and Farouk Shami (they actually asked him). Why not see if Phil Gramm or Dick Armey was coming out of retirement while you’re at it? Or some random Bullock or Hobby offspring?

    Not that it probably matters too much; there hasn’t been a Democrat elected in Texas statewide since Bob Bullock won in 1994, and Texas hasn’t sent a Democrat to the U.S. Senate since Lloyd Bentsen in 1988 (the same year the Dukakis/Bentsen ticket lost to Bush/Quayle). Things are always fluid in politics, but there does not appear to be any instant revival for the Texas Democratic Party over the horizon in the near future…