Predictions and hopes

Longtime readers of this blog will recall that I am not much for predictions. Well, to be fair, I used to predict things all the time, but I was notoriously wrong too many times to count. Accordingly, in an effort to save face, I will  not field my own electoral predictions, which are only slightly less reliable than the Tribune polls.

Rather, I want to note what I am looking for and what I am hoping for; admittedly, they are nearly mutual exclusive categories. Within those categories, I would like to look most specifically at both the Republican & Democratic primaries, as well as both Statewide races and those in Harris County. Within these four categories, there are quite a few overlapping key points, however.

1. HOW BIG IS THE STUPID VOTE?

This is one for the Democratic primary. I am using the official academic term, of course, to describe these so-called stupid voters. They are the voters who will cast their lots for Kesha Rogers (US Senate), Lloyd Wayne Oliver (District Attorney) and Lori Gray (115th District Court), in that order. Albeit, plenty of otherwise unintelligent voters may coincidentally vote for the non-egregious candidates, but there is no way to discern them from Adam.

Click here to read all my other points!

In re Cruz’s endorsements

The Associated Press reports that Senator Ted Cruz, the quintessential Tea Party darling, has pointedly refused to explicitly endorse John Cornyn for re-election, or any other Senator for that matter. Cornyn, of course, faces strong tea party blowback for allegedly being insufficiently conservative.  His half-dozen or so challengers in the Republican primary look as though they may force him into a runoff election, something Cornyn himself has even admitted has a reasonable chance of occurring.

The common denominator among many, if not most, of these candidates is that Cornyn has been disloyal to Cruz. They point to differing ideologues governing both the government shutdown and the debt ceiling showdown. Cornyn, as the number two Republican in the Senate, had to eventually be one of the grown-ups in the room on both occasions, and voted to both reopen the government and raise the debt ceiling. Neither or which were done with any preconditions, placing him squarely opposed to Cruz and in the cross-hairs of the Tea Party.

Oddly enough, Cruz’s comments consciously did not share any love for Congressman Steve Stockman –Cornyn’s biggest challenger– either. In fact, most respected Tea Party groups have publicly been distancing themselves from Stockman in recent days, many going as far as to “publicly disavow” him. Accordingly, it look like many individuals who otherwise have beefs with Cornyn would vote for him nonetheless in a hypothetical runoff mathcup against Stockman. This, even though many may have very well supported a third or fourth candidate –Dwayne Stovall, for example– in the preliminary primary.

Click here to read more about Cruz!

2014’s first big poll

The Texas Tribune reports on a very comprehensive poll they conducted over just about every competitive primary in the State. The poll has a fairly substantial margin of error (upwards of 6% in the Democratic primary, specifically), so that is something to bear in mind when analyzing the results.

Simply put, the results paint a bad picture for the Democrats. Back at that time, Greg Abbott lead Wendy Davis by only five points; today, Abbott’s lead has grown to Eleven points. Other polls paint a similarly bleak picture for the Democrats, especially considering that these Texas Tribune polls have historically been overly generous to the Democratic candidate. Just a few days after that original Tribune poll, Public Policy Polling (a historically very accurate pollster) estimated Abbott’s lead at a whopping fifteen points. Accordingly, I am eager to see just how bad off the Democrats are doing when PPP releases its triannual February poll any day now.

Also of note here is that these polls were largely conducted before the Ted Nugent scandal really blew over regarding Greg Abbott’s campaign. Therefore, one could plausibly assert that this poll overvalues Davis’ problems emanating from “Trailergate” while simultaneously not taking to account Abbott’s recent woes. Among other issues with this poll was a misleading discrepancy between “registered” and “likely” voters. Additionally, the polls completely disregarded the portion of the electorate still undecided. I have recreated these polls with the undecideds built into the poll, as well as only taking note of the “registered” voters.

Click here for full results and graph!

Senate runoff election?

Texpatriate has learned that Gravis Marketing commissioned a telephone poll 729 likely Republican primary voters and found a shocking result: Senator John Cornyn could be heading into a primary runoff against Rep. Steve Stockman, his most high-profile opponent. Senator Cornyn, the Senate Minority Whip (2nd highest ranking Republican), is seeking a third term in the upper chamber and has been challenged by a whole slew of candidates for allegedly being insufficiently conservative.

Specifically, Rep. Stockman has challenged Sen. Cornyn’s recent tepidness towards the idea of “Open Carry,” that is allowing otherwise capable CHL holders to furnish their handguns in plain sight. He has also been criticized for allegedly betraying the values of Texas’ other Senator, Ted Cruz. Particularly in the case of October’s government shutdown and this month’s kerfuffle over the debt ceiling, Sen. Cornyn was one of the Republicans who took the high road and vowed not to let the United States default on its debt. This made the hard-right (read: Rep. Stockman) livid, and fostered an odd primary, to say the least. Most people have assumed that Sen. Cornyn would be safe, but a new poll casts doubts on such predictions.

Click here to see the Poll Results!

Senate primary endorsements

At the end of the day, I suppose that the contest between candidates for the US Senate Democratic primary is a two-way race. Texpatriate is the only major political organization I am aware of that has supported Michael Fjetland’s bid for the nomination. Of course, we have stood alone among political groups before, even with candidates who are ultimately successful (just ask Councilmember Robert Gallegos), but statewide politics is a very different animal than a district Council race. It is literally impossible to blockwalk the second-largest State in the country and run a true grassroots campaign.

Therefore, we have a closer race between David Alameel & Maxey Scherr. Alameel, a dentist and businessman multi-millionaire from Dallas, has gotten much establishment support, as well as a high-profile endorsement from Wendy Davis. He has also been heavily defended by the Lone Star Project. However, he has been derided incessantly from the left for donating large sums to Republican officeholders (including Cornyn himself). Scherr, an attorney from El Paso, has much less money but is extremely popular with left-wing activists. Accordingly, it is interesting to note who is supporting who.

Click here to see who has endorsed who!

Texpatriate endorses in US Senate Democratic primary

There are five candidates vying to the Democratic nominee for the US Senate this year. Among these, we only find three to be legitimate Democratic candidates in even the most basic definition of the term. Harry Kim, a physician from Odessa, has campaigned a negligible amount and did not return requests for comment from us or any other news outlet. Kesha Rogers, an activist affiliated with the Lyndon LaRouche movement, is a Democrat in only name. Make no mistake, we do not use that term lightly, nor in any hyperbolic manner whatsoever. The LaRouche movement openly compares President Obama to Adolf Hitler, believes the financial industry (and the world) is controlled by a malevolent cartel of Wall Street bankers and is openly sympathetic to anti-American regimes such as Russia and Iran. We cannot express enough how strongly we urge you to vote against both Kim and Rogers, particularly the latter.

This elimination leaves us with three candidates: David Alameel, Michael Fjetland and Maxey Scherr. Alameel, a dental mogul from the Dallas area, has wowed many throughout the State with his large fortune (over $50 Million) and his willingness to spend it on a political campaign. Indeed, prominent Democrats such as State Senators Wendy Davis and Leticia Van de Putte has supported him. But, in this board’s opinion, something just does not add up about Alameel. He has an unfortunate history of donating thousands upon thousands of dollars to prominent Republicans, including the incumbent in this election (John Cornyn). He has been accused multiple times of harboring anti-abortion rights political views on the campaign trail. Finally, in a recent TV ad he unveiled, Alameel announced his belief that our overseas wars should be drawn back. That position would be ripe for a campaign, perhaps if the year was 2008. As both the Iraq War is over and the final troops are in the process of leaving Afghanistan, we do not see the point in such an ad. Oddly enough, Alameel has not focused on many other issues with much specificity.

Click here to read the full endorsement!

Texpatriate endorses in US Senate Republican primary

John Cornyn could only be considered a moderate –or, oddly enough, a “liberal”– in Texas, and only be the hyper-conservative 10% of the electorate who bother to show up and vote in a Republican primary. National Review recently rated him as the second most conservative member of the US Senate. Of course, Texas also may boast its junior Senator, Ted Cruz, as perhaps the most conservative member of the US Senate. Accordingly, anyone who does not catch up to Cruz politically is seen suspiciously by the far-right. Therefore, six men and one woman are challenging Senator Cornyn in the Republican primary as he makes his bid for a third term. All are challenging him from the right.

Pick a ludicrous issue –any ludicrous issue, we insist– and you will find a home for it in the platform of one of these individuals. Repeal of the 17th Amendment is only the beginning for the challengers. Biblical literalism, absolute refusal to raise the debt ceiling and anger over the continued existence of the Federal Government round out their other grievances. Leading this pack is Congressman Steve Stockman. Stockman’s career is a quintessential example of the huge right-turn of the Republican Party in recent years. He was first elected to Congress in 1994, but was seen as far too conservative for Republicans, and soon found himself losing office after one term. Following a triumphant return in 2012, Stockman found himself with friends in congress and the State. Enough friends, in fact, that he felt compelled to run for the US Senate.

Click here to read the full endorsement!

Civil Affairs: Senate

CIVIL AFFAIRS

AMID all the talk of the gubernatorial and the lieutenant governor campaigns, as well as the competitive local primaries, it is easy to lose track of the many other important positions Texans will be voting on at the polls this year.

Perhaps the most underrated of these contests is the race for the U.S. Senate. With fiercely competitive primaries for both the Democratic and Republican candidates, the two primaries thus far have nearly descended into a theater of the absurd. Particularly in the case of the Democratic primary, the major candidates have taken to attacking one another and focusing on unrelated issues such as endorsements from state senators rather than debating policy or zeroing in on the incumbent. The three major candidates, David AlameelMichael Fjetland and Maxey Scherr, are doing this at the expense of productive campaigning against Senator Cornyn.

Please read the full column at THE DAILY TEXAN.

Alameel releases an ad

David Alameel, a candidate in the Democratic primary for the US Senate, has now released a concise commercial. At this point, it will just run on the internet, but could easily be formatted for the television. The ad touts Alameel’s liberal positions on foreign policy issues, specifically pertaining to the ongoing War in Afghanistan.

“Twelve years in Afghanistan. It’s time to leave,” the ad starts off. “David Alameel is a veteran, and he supports the military. But he says it is time to bring the troops home.” The commercial continues by noting Alameel’s commitment to reinvesting much of the money from this pricey war into domestic programs. Without citing specifics, the commercials notes that jobs, education must be sought after, as well as a protection to Social Security for future generations. The 30-second spot does not reveal any inkling as to how these commitments would be accomplished, but does try to hit the highlights from assorted liberal causes.

Click here to read more!

Alameel, Van de Putte, etc

First, some quick catchup. As many will note, the Democratic primary for the US Senate has been heated recently ever since Wendy Davis endorsed David Alameel, a rather obscure candidate hitherto. This prompted some blowback from the other candidates –namely Maxey Scherr– over Almeel’s giving history to prominent Republicans, including the incumbent John Cornyn himself.

Accordingly, as The Texas Tribune reports, Alameel recently made a somewhat bizarre and quixotic request for a “refund” from these Republicans, including Cornyn. When asked by the Tribune to expand upon this idea, Alameel reportedly discussed his previous belief in the ideal of bipartisanship, allegedly justifying his expansive donations to both Democrats and Republicans. However, attributing the encroaching extremism in the modern day Republican Party, Alameel made it clear that he wished to dissolve his fiscal bands with the GOP.

In an obvious example of tongue-in-cheek humor, Cornyn responded to the unreasonable request. As The Dallas Morning News reports, Cornyn responded by noting just how indispensable his financial contribution was, invaluable for implementing his conservative agenda. Additionally, Cornyn made a point of referencing his steadfast conservatism over the years, including those in which Alameel was a contributor. Specifically, Cornyn twice referenced his impeccable credentials as a pro-life candidate, an obvious jab to Alameel, who now has faced criticisms from his left over the issue.

Click here to read the letter, plus a major development that occurred today!