Sunday, August 29, 2010

The Texas Tribune’s 21 House Races to Watch

Friday saw the appearance on the Texas Tribune’s website a list of 21 state house races to watch. Ones where an incumbent was at risk to some extent or another. It’s an interesting read.

It breaks down 21 races into 3 categories, one where an incumbent being beat is likely, ones where it’s a toss-up, and ones where unseating an incumbent is possible.

It would seem that the governing rule in their analysis is that Texans are predisposed to be anti-incumbent or anti-Democrat. Their analysis shows that if they hit 100% of their predictions Republicans stand to gain 7 House seats among just those 21 races. And among Republican incumbents, just about all of them are at-risk of losing their seats because they fell afoul of ethics this year.

As if Republicans would vote for a Democrat because their candidate is ethically challenged. Something I tend to doubt.

At least that’s the way it goes around these parts.

I beg to differ from the Texas Tribune in just this one way. While Democrats are in charge in DC, and they are the incumbents that Americans are going to have trouble with, the problem we have with incumbents in Austin is very much because the Republicans have been in charge for 7 years now.

Republicans are the incumbents, not Democrats.

And yes, all politics are local, so looking at how a district votes based on what they did in 2008 when they voted for McCain does not in and of itself say anything about who people vote for in local races. This is reflected in their “possible” turnover pick of Pati Jacobs in her run against Tim “La-Z-Boy” Kleinschmidt in HD-17. The district has slowly tilted toward Republican but the guy they elected in ’08 has been a total washout. I suspect the Texas Tribune underestimates Jacobs’ race.

And finally, the analysis was written before the fire in Houston that destroyed all 10,000 of Harris County’s voting machines. What this does in the HD-133 and HD-138, two districts entirely within Harris County has not been factored in. Nor has, at this writing, the cause of the fire (as if that was in doubt).


Kenneth D. Franks said...

I tend to agree with your analysis as 2008 is not as important as the Tribune article suggests. Look for Bill White to have some coattails in some areas where the President didn't with down ballot candidates.
I received more votes than the current President in four of five counties in my district. Bill White could help my chances although they might be slim. In races that went historically Democratic in 2008 (for recent years) their analysis works and they may be correct.

Anonymous said...

I liked your site much better before you became such a partisan hack. Oh well.

Hal said...

Ant that was . . . when?