Identifying and analyzing emerging trends in campaigns and elections.

Posts Tagged ‘Texas’

Wendy Davis’s Potential Problem

In Governor on March 6, 2014 at 10:44 am

While the major news media is covering Sen. John Cornyn’s (R) strong win in Tuesday night’s Texas primary, a different story lies beneath the surface in the Lone Star state’s Democratic gubernatorial primary.

State Sen. Wendy Davis (D-Ft. Worth) easily won her party’s nomination for governor attracting 78.4 percent of the vote, but she did lose 25 counties to an opponent, Reynaldo “Ray” Madrigal, who was virtually a candidate in absentia. Though losing 25 of 237 counties is an insignificant number in and of itself, the location of her under-performing entities is what could pose her an additional general election problem.

It is clear that Sen. Davis begins this race as an underdog to Attorney General Greg Abbott, who captured 91.5 percent of the Republican primary vote. Texas hasn’t elected a Democrat to any statewide office since 1990. It hasn’t voted for a Democratic presidential candidate since Jimmy Carter carried the state in 1976. Lloyd Bentsen is the last Democratic US senator voted into  Continue reading >

Texas Tallies: Cornyn Wins Easily, Hall in Run-off

In Election Analysis on March 5, 2014 at 11:08 am

Senate

The first-in-the-nation primary vote was held yesterday, and few surprises were noted. Sen. John Cornyn (R), facing seven Republican opponents including Rep. Steve Stockman (R-TX-36), was successfully renominated capturing 58.7 percent of the vote with just over 90 percent of the vote counted at this writing. Rep. Stockman scored 18.8 percent, and Tea Party favorite Dwyane Stovall posted 10.6 percent.

With Stockman entering late and virtually disappearing on the campaign trail and Stovall raising very little money, what could have become a serious intra-party challenge to the two-term senator fizzled. Now, Cornyn looks forward to romping home in the general election.

For the Democrats, North Texas dentist David Alameel, a former congressional candidate, fell just short of winning the  Continue reading >

Underlying Poll Data Shows Cornyn on Shaky Ground

In Polling, Senate on February 28, 2014 at 7:32 pm

On Tuesday, Texas officially kicks-off the regular 2014 election cycle. Voters from both parties will visit the polls to begin the first step in choosing Republican and Democratic nominees for the fall. Illinois follows with their nomination process on March 18, but the heaviest voting months are May and June.

A new University of Texas/Texas Tribune poll (Feb. 7-17; 1,200 registered Texas voters; online pre-selected group; number of likely Republican primary voters not released) is projecting that Sen. John Cornyn (R) commands a 62 percent support level in a Republican primary ballot test against Rep. Steve Stockman’s (R-TX-36) 16 percent, but digging below the polling toplines reveals a much different story. In actuality, Cornyn’s first ballot question percentage was 43 percent, the exact number that the Gravis Marketing poll (Feb. 10-12; 729 Texas Republican primary voters – Cornyn 43 percent, Stockman 28 percent) reported earlier in the month.
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A Cornyn Run-off?

In Election Analysis, Polling, Senate on February 18, 2014 at 1:28 pm

Florida-based Gravis Marketing, one of the newer national pollsters, just released the findings from their recent survey of the Texas Republican US Senate primary (Dec. 10-12; 729 likely Republican Texas primary voters).  The results, rather surprisingly, give Senate Minority Whip John Cornyn only a 43-28 percent lead over US Rep. Steve Stockman (R-TX-36).  

Though Sen. Cornyn registered just 43 percent support among a reflective voting segment within his own political party, his favorability rating was relatively positive, nonetheless.  When asked if the respondents have a favorable or unfavorable opinion of the Senator, by a ratio of 49:27 percent, they approved.  Asked the same of Rep. Stockman, the results were 28:18 percent positive to negative, but with 55 percent saying they were “unsure” or had no opinion of the southeast Texas Congressman.

Gravis was active in the 2012 election cycle, but some of their polls produced questionably reliable data.  In this Texas effort, 729 respondents is a healthy sample  Continue reading >

Early Gaining and Losing

In Apportionment on January 3, 2014 at 4:08 pm

Though reapportionment only happens once every decade anchored to the new census, the gaining or losing of congressional districts for individual states clearly affects delegation politics almost unceasingly.*

The Census Bureau just recently released new population growth figures, based upon July 1, 2013 data, that gives us a very early look into which states may be headed for reapportionment changes in 2020. The projection process occurs throughout the 10-year period and very often the early numbers do not correctly reflect end-of-the-decade trends, so predicting now with any certainty how the population formula will unfold in late 2020 is highly speculative.

That being the case, the new growth numbers suggest that Texas will again gain multiple seats – at this point two – and Colorado, Florida, Montana, North Carolina, and Virginia appear headed for one-seat additions. Offsetting these increases are again New York, Pennsylvania,  Continue reading >

The Politics Behind the Budget Vote; First Cornyn Poll Shows Big Advantage

In House, Polling, Senate on December 16, 2013 at 10:51 am

The House passed the Murray-Ryan budget bill 332-94, but there are some interesting political strategies at play relating to the individual votes.

Of the 94 “No” votes, 62 came from Republicans and 32 from Democrats. The member complexion is an interesting mix and was comprised predominantly from those on the far right and far left. The opposition Republicans are mostly ardent Tea Party supported members such as retiring Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-MN-6), sophomore Rep. Raul Labrador (R-ID-1), and freshman Kentucky Congressman Thomas Massie (R-KY-4).

Eleven members, almost half of the Texas Republican delegation, were among those in opposition, including veteran representatives Ralph Hall (R-TX-4), Joe Barton (R-TX-6), and Michael Burgess (R-TX-26). The Texans supporting the budget bill are generally aligned with the  Continue reading >

The Wacky 36th CD in Texas

In House on December 12, 2013 at 11:30 am
Texas' 36th Congressional District

Texas’ 36th Congressional District

When Rep. Steve Stockman (R-TX-36) signed his official candidate documents to run against Texas Republican Sen. John Cornyn, only hours remained in the candidate filing period. After the figurative dust cleared, Republican Party officials decided that there needed to be an extended opportunity for more individuals to enter the now incumbent-less 36th District congressional race. So after citing some legal technicalities in the way Rep. Stockman withdrew his previous filing from the House race, they extended the qualification period for this race alone through Monday, Dec. 16. But, the extra period is not open to all.
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Texas Shock Move

In Senate on December 10, 2013 at 11:47 am
Rep. Steve Stockman (R-TX)

Rep. Steve Stockman (R-TX)

The Texas candidate filing period closed yesterday, and yielded a stunning political surprise.

Foregoing what would be an easy re-election to a second term in his 36th Congressional District, Rep. Steve Stockman filed papers to instead launch a Republican senatorial primary challenge against Sen. John Cornyn.

Tea Party conservatives had been trying to recruit an opponent for the senator ever since he opposed fellow Texas Sen. Ted Cruz’s (R) informal government shutdown filibuster back in October. Stockman can now expect their backing, a similar coalition  Continue reading >

A Minnesota Challenger Emerges; Texas House Update

In House on December 6, 2013 at 11:06 am

Yesterday, national and Minnesota Republicans recruited an individual who has the potential of becoming a strong and interesting challenger to the state’s western district 12-term incumbent, Rep. Collin Peterson (D).

State Sen. Torrey Westrom (R) was first elected to the legislature in 1996, moving from the House to the Senate in 2012 after chairing two committees. Westrom is native to the district, growing up on a dairy farm, and tragically lost his eyesight in an agriculture-related accident when he was 14 years old. Despite his disability, Sen. Westrom became a lawyer, married, is father to three children, and has won nine state legislative elections.

The potential race against Rep. Peterson – and retirement rumors continue to swirl around the 69-year old congressman – can become competitive. One of only eight seats in the country to vote for Mitt Romney (53.9 percent) and elect a Democrat to the House, MN-7 ranks as the fourth-most Republican seat to be represented by a member of the opposite party.
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