Wednesday, July 15, 2009

A Democratic Governor for Texas in 2010?

Susan sent me this link to an article at The Economist website posted on July 9th. The article makes a strong case for a state that is on the verge of flipping to the Democratic Party. But I was drawn to the article’s treatment of next year’s gubernatorial race because they have it exact.

While Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison would trounce Governor Rick Perry in a General Election, the reverse holds true in a Primary Election. Perry will beat Hutchison hands down.

So ironically, the only way for the most popular statewide politician in Texas to win against the incumbent, Hutchison would essentially have to “pull an Arlen Specter” and switch parties.

This is because in Texas, like many other states, especially in Specter’s state, primary voters are people who are more consumed by politics than the general electorate. They are the fanatics. And fanaticism being what it is, these voters are typically from the right wing.

That is, Perry’s base.

It hasn’t even started yet, but we are all waiting with bated breath for Perry to fire the first salvo, wondering if it will be over her Aye vote for the TARP last year – and the lampoon: Kay Bailout Hutchison, or if it will be over Hutchison’s position on abortion legislation (she’s against it).

Hutchison is center right, and that’s a fact. She votes in a bipartisan fashion sometimes. Cornyn never does.

So I think it is safe to say that barring a sex or drug scandal, Rick Perry will be on the ballot in the 2010 General Election. What you have to wonder, then, is what the moderate Republicans who would support Hutchison will do. Will they knuckle under, grit their teeth and vote for Perry?

I guess that depends on who the Democrats field. Here in Texas, sorry to say, the liberal wing is a rather small part of the big tent we Democrats have pitched. The Democratic nominee is more likely to be center left.

Someone like Houston Mayor Bill White. No, he’s not a shoe in . . . yet . . . but I use him as an example of the kind of candidate the Democrats will settle on.

So it makes for an interesting mix. A socially conservative incumbent known for his tea bagging secessionist talk who attracts a minority of voters versus a moderate who can attract the other three groups, center right, center left, and left wing.

So can Democrats pull it off as The Economist article suggests? I think the odds are better than even, especially if the Libertarians run someone – that’s a guaranteed 5% lower percentage for Perry.

However, if we have the same fiasco in 2010 as we did in 2006, with two independents competing for the vote, all bets are off.


Anonymous said...

Both parties have their share of nuts and most of them have strings attached to them by corporate America.

Anonymous said...

Who cares who is governor from this bunch of takers.