Monday, December 11, 2006

Rodriguez In A Squeaker - Experts Call It a Toss-Up

I really like this Washington Post article on the Rodriguez-Bonilla smackdown going on in CD-23. I don’t live in CD-23, you know, so I am only aware of the issues of the race in a disorganized way. This article puts the whole package together in a nice tight little story.

I recall months ago trying to make sense of the Tom DeLay mess by trying to put it into a timeline perspective. That worked for me. This article does the same thing.

Election Day in CD-23 is tomorrow, December 12th. This is a singular day among Mexican Catholics: “La Dia de la Virgen de Guadalupe”. Another Republican attempt at keeping voters from the polls? They really are good at it by the way. LULAC filed suit, by the way, and got an extension on the early voting dates. That’s good. The Hispanic voters that I have talked to are amenable to going to the polls early.

But a special election is just that . . . special. New rules apply. You’re not going to the polls to vote for a whole slate of candidates, you are going to vote for one. That takes a special kind of voter. And it takes a special GOTV effort.

I myself have witnessed that kind of effort in the Dr. Anthony DiNovo campaign in HD-29. The two races are very similar, though, because both races hinge on getting out the Hispanic vote. Bonilla, while Hispanic himself, garnered only 8% of the Hispanic vote in the ’02 election, and as the article points out, that was BEFORE the district lines were redrawn in ’03 by DeLay’s infamous 2nd in a decade redistricting. The new CD-23 boundaries mandated by the US Supreme Court, include more Hispanics in its new demographics.

The experts are calling this race a toss up. And that’s what it is. If every voter in CD-23 come out and vote along the same party lines that they voted in November, Rodriguez wins by 111 votes.

But that is dreamland. It all comes down to who’s best at getting out the vote, and who’s best at denying voters their right to vote.

I hope they have their ducks in order.

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