The runoff was perhaps the biggest surprise of the night, with State Senator Dan Patrick outperforming incumbent Lieutenant Governor David Dewhurst 2-to-1 in the preliminary Republican primary for the post. The two will advance to a May runoff election, eliminating both Agriculture Commissioner Todd Staples and Land Commissioner Jerry Patterson. Most political prognosticators (including, unfortunately, myself) thought the roles would be largely reversed, with Dewhurst receiving 40%+ and Patrick holding about a twenty point deficit.
Further, the Texas Tribune reports on a developing story surrounding pressures placed on second-place candidates to drop out, thus eliminating the need for a runoff election. The effort has already been successful on one front, with State Representative Harvey Hilderbran dropping out in his bid for Comptroller, thus assuring victory to the huge frontrunner, State Senator Glenn Hegar. Similarly, on the Lieutenant Governor’s side, Dewhurst has some huge ground he must make up if he actually plans on remaining competitive. Finishing with barely over 20% of the vote in a race for re-election is a very pitiful end of a political career, but his possible fate in the runoff could spell even more misery.
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As Election Night unfolded, I sat at a watch party glued to my laptop. The first few results rolled in on Tuesday evening, I could not help but be surprised at what I was seeing. Dan Patrick, the ultra-conservative state senator from Houston, was leading incumbent Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst 2-to-1 in the primary for that post, flouting both what had been assumed as gospel by the political establishment and reported as fact from a recent Texas Tribune/University of Texas poll.
That same poll showed LaRouche activist (a cabal of conspiracy theorists) Kesha Rogers holding a plurality lead in the Democratic Primary for the U.S. Senate. While she did — somehow — manage her way into a runoff with the establishment candidate, she did so with close to a 20 point deficit to make up, a normally insurmountable task.
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Rasmussen Reports, a reputable nationwide polling house, has released its first poll of the 2014 Texas Gubernatorial Election. The poll asked 500 likely voters on Monday and Tuesday who they would support between now the official Democratic nominee, State Senator Wendy Davis, and Republican nominee, Attorney General Greg Abbott. The poll also asked who the voters trusted more on a slew of issues, including taxes, the economy, government corruption and social issues. The results paint a disastrous picture for the Davis campaign, one that should surely sound some alarm bells in Fort Worth if they are still serious about winning.
In addition to the aforementioned totals in this race (Abbott 53, Davis 41), one more percent selected some other candidate with a mere 5% still undecided. When divided by gender, Abbott leads men by a huge margin (66 to 29) while Davis actually leads among women (53 to 41). I’m not sure what the breakdown by race, ethnicity, geography or age is yet. Additionally, when the poll asked voters who they trusted more on taxes, economical issues, government corruption and social issues, Abbott was the clear favorite for all the choices. Admittedly, Davis did a little bit better on the social issues question, but was still trailing.
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If your first question is “Who is Jim Hogan?,” then don’t worry, there is a website set up to address your concerns. Hogan is a rancher out of Cleburne (Johnson County), who despite not campaigning in the slightest finished first in the Democratic primary for Agriculture Commissioner and advanced into a runoff with Kinky Friedman.
Despite being the establishment candidate supported by the top brass of the Texas Democratic Party and Leticia Van de Putte, Hugh Fitzsimons finished in dead last in the primary. In fact, of Texas’ 254 counties, he only won a plurality in a single one (Dallas County, for what it is worth). Accordingly, purist Democrats are slowly going bonkers having to choose in between a no-name and someone who the Austin elite bears a pathological hatred towards. That being said, I encourage you to read the one liners from both Friedman and Hogan. As many may recall, Texpatriate could not agree on an endorsement in the preliminary primary, we split our ticket with both Fitzsimons and Friedman.
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The Texas Tribune reports on a growing cause for concern among Democrats statewide, Wendy Davis’ lackluster primary finish. State Senator Davis (D-Forth Worth), now officially the Democratic nominee for Governor, had a somewhat disappointing finish in the Democratic primary. She faced an individual named Ray Madrigal, who is a Municipal Judge in the Corpus Christi suburb of Seadrift, who spent $0 and engaged in absolutely no campaigning. However, somehow, Madrigal not only racked up over 20% of the vote, he won 25 counties (tied in 2 others), with nearly all of them being Hispanic majority counties.
Perhaps you should read that again: a perennial candidate with no experience and no serious outreach program soundly defeated Wendy Davis in the most strongly Democratic portion of the State purely on the basis of having a Hispanic surname. I make the distinction about Madrigal’s non-campaign because it has relevance when one compares this primary victory with Greg Abbott’s or Bill White’s. Abbott’s opponents engaged in campaigning; indeed, all three of them had campaign websites and one even submitted a Texpatriate Questionnaire. And yet, all put together, the three opponents conjured up less than half the vote-percentage as Davis’ non-opponent.
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