Saturday, February 02, 2013

"Harris County Republicans in trouble in 2014?"


Excessive comma splicing and too many Bill Murray impersonations aside, David is sending an SOS that the local Dems -- meeting this afternoon for a roundtable discussion -- would be well to take note of. Like this...

Sen. John Cornyn is a good conservative senator but at this point, I don’t see anyone rushing out to vote for him. Abbott in the governor slot will draw a few people out but Harris County isn’t his base and remember that the Dem won Harris County in 2010. Who knows with Lt. Gov., but again, I don’t see any excitement.

Cornyn is likely to get primaried, as everyone knows. Because of who votes in GOP primaries, Cornyn is afraid he could be beaten. As a result, the senior senator from Texas is forced to follow the junior senator's lead. Both men were two of three votes total against John Kerry's confirmation for secretary of state, and Cornyn did so simply to deny said challenger some campaign fodder.

So drop down to county races. Once again, it will be up to Harris County Judge Ed Emmett to carry the load and pull a terrible field with him. Problem is, there is a large faction (let’s call them the SD7 bunch for now) that are begging people to run against him in a primary. And frankly, if they get the right candidate, Ed’s in trouble. As we saw this year when Mike Anderson damaged the party by defeating Pat Lykos, it is difficult to recover from a nasty primary at the top of the ticket. If Ed survives the primary, he’ll be fine in November but not able to carry the field with him. If he doesn’t survive the primary, say hello to County Judge Democrat.

Well, that would certainly be nice if it were even close to accurate, but at this point Don Large, former Republican, is the only person apparently running and his Facebook page hasn't a fresh post for seven months that isn't spam. I don't think Hunker Down has much to worry about.

County Clerk Stan Stanart has had problems running the office and the people he’s hired are suspect. I’ve heard rumors that former District Clerk Charles Bacarisse will challenge him in the primary – if so, that would certainly make for a stronger ticket but those are just rumors. Personally, I’d like to see former candidate for State Rep 149 candidate Jack Lee take a crack at it. If Stan is on the ballot again, he’ll go down.

Here I agree with Jennings. Stanart should be the most endangered incumbent on the ballot, primary challenger or no.

District Clerk Chris Daniel has done a good job and is out in the county every day talking up the office. That hasn’t stopped people talking about challenging him in a primary. The most prominent name I’ve heard is former HCRP Executive Director, now some sort of communications guy for Commissioner Steve Radack, and miracle survivor of a plane crash, Court Koenning. Regardless of the candidate, this office will probably switch to the D’s.

Chris Daniel is a joke. He has ridden the coattails of predecessor Loren Jackson's effort and should be turned out, just like Stanart. 

Then, you have a problem with some gosh awful incumbent judges (who will cost some very good incumbent judges their bench). I, and many of us in the party, will not push a “Vote Straight R” message unless these judges are upset via the primary, which is a very difficult thing to do. The Straight R campaign has been the bedrock of the last two campaigns – without it, we’re going to lose a few points and certainly increase the down ballot undervotes. Imagine a Harris County judicial system 75% in the control of Democrats because that is what it will look like after 2014.

This news, again, would be good if it were true. Charles Kuffner has demonstrated the false premise of the straight ticket vote several times, but of course he uses a reality-based system called math, which Republicans don't believe in. It's not in the Bible or the Constitution, you see.

(In fact, Kuffner's take on 2014 is much closer than Jolly's to being accurate, but you once again have to ignore his tendency to place money above all other considerations.)

Another thing BJ seems to overlook is that Democrats have a long and storied history of staying home when elections are held and the president of the United States isn't on the ballot. Or when elections are held at special times on odd days. The fact is that in Harris County, suburban and exurban voters drive by the library or the high school or the church every week and go in to ask if there's an election that they forgot to vote in.

And that base of voters just isn't dying off fast enough to get the kind of progress we need in this county (and this state). But it's also true that when a political party is forcing itself to go through re-indoctrination to avoid extinction, you know there are bigger problems than just a lack of enthusiasm.

So Jolly's wake-up call to the HCRP, while more amusing than revealing, is plenty early enough for them to get out of bed, pop in their dentures, take hydrocodone for their arthritis, and get moving.

It's far too soon to be handicapping the mid-term elections. Four years ago people were just beginning to hear about the Tea Baggers, and nobody but them expected that to account for much, all the way up to November of 2010. Ginning up fear and outrage is the only thing about politics conservatives are really good at. And they can do it at the drop of a hat.

1 comment:

John Cobarruvias said...

I take anything that big fat rolly polly says with a grain of salt the size of a softball. He actually thinks the chair will get replaced just like Romney thought he was going to win.