Friday, October 31, 2008

PostHeaderIcon Turning Texas...

Some figures keep running around in my head... not enough for Obama to take Texas, but where the effect really will be: down ballot.

In the 2000 GOP Primary, George Bush was running unopposed, as did John McCain in 2008. Both men took about 10-11% of the registered voters in that election. Neither Gore nor Kerry sparked that much enthusiasm -- both barely reached 7%.

In the 2008 Democratic Primary, the Obama / Clinton vote combined was a staggering 22% of registered voters in Texas. 2:1 vote totals over McCain.

The Texas Secretary of State has announced that between the primaries and the general, an additional 650K new voters were added to the registration roles. (Though I doubt that ACORN had much to do with it.)

Given the enthusiasm gap for Bush / McCain (Bush now has a 34% approval rating here in Texas), it's safe to say that McCain will likely only hold a small margin over 50% statewide... BUT, in the urban centers of Houston, San Antonio, Austin and DFW, early voting has been heavy -- as has been the case down in the Rio Grand Valley, where Obama polls higher than McCain despite inroads on immigration reform. These areas have trended Democratic for the last two election cycles. Dallas county flipped back to Democratic in the last election. Harris County (Houston) will likely do the same.

There is even a good chance that Michael Skelley may unseat Culberson in the Texas 7th -- and if he does, it will be because of overwhelmingly democratic new voters from Houston's urban core.

While improbable, there is a scenario that would allow Obama to take Texas:

  • 90%+ of Democratic primary voters turn out
  • 60%+ of the newly registered voters turn out and vote Democratic
  • 10-15% of moderate Republicans switch
  • 10% or more conservative voters stay home

Unlikely, yes -- but then again, Obama is within striking distance in Arizona...

A few years back, Tom DeLay and his cronies engineered a redistricting scheme to place a firewall around the Texas GOP. The Obama / Clinton primary may have very well broken past that and provided an opening for the enevitable swing back to Democratic ascendency to happen sooner, rather than later.

Stats for this came from the Secretary of State for Texas


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