Monday, January 02, 2006

Crunching the Governor's race numbers

I've been counting the beans since the filing deadline today produced 3 Republicans of varying degrees and 1 Democrat -- still only potentially, but quite likely -- on the ballot in November. And I've come to the conclusion that there is a much stronger possibility of a Democrat being elected than there was yesterday. Take a look.

For openers, let's presume that Kinky Friedman can draw 10% of the November vote total. Not far-fetched; he's probably good for as much as 15%. Give Chris Bell (or Bob Gammage) somewhere between the 37% John Kerry pulled in 2004, and the 40% Tony Sanchez got in 2002.

At mimimum that's 47%, leaving 53% for Perry and Strayhorn to split. If Strayhorn can draw 17%, then a Democrat is elected Governor.

Get generous and give Kinky 13% and Bell or Gammage 40% -- achievable numbers, but probably at the upper end of expectations -- and the margin of defeat for Perry shrivels to 8% (the percentage of Strayhorn votes that keeps Goodhair from winning).

I think Carole can conceivably draw 20%, and if Bell/Gammage were to only get 35% and Kinky 11%, Rick Perry still loses with his 34%. The most accurate assessment at the end of this day is that Kinky will get whatever he gets, as will the Democratic nominee; the impact of Strayhorn on Perry's numbers is the unknown variable. The wild card.

I think it's also safe to say that Bell and Gammage will begin a spirited 60-day campaign starting tomorrow, and that Perry and Strayhorn will tear the hide off each other once she's officially on the ballot, sometime in April.

I would also imagine that the pollsters -- Zogby, Gallup, et. al. -- are gearing up for big business here in Deep-In-The-Hearta.

Update (1/3/06): Jack adds credibility to the theory, and has some advice for the Bell campaign.

Update #2 (1/4/06): This guy gets it:

I'm betting Perry will have a tough time winning in a field of four. Dems who would have voted for Kinky in a field of three, might vote for a Dem in a field of four under the premise of "hey, we could win this thing." (This provides a direct answer to Kinky's campaign slogan "Kinky, Why the Hell Not?"). If anyone besides Perry wins, it'll mean a shakeup of the Texas Republican Party. If CKS wins, she'll let some moderates back into the Rebublican ballgame, and will undercut the national right wing agenda from within its home base. If CKS doesn't win, it'll likely mean a further purge of moderates from within the Republican Party -- which will only lead to further independent challenges from within the party. Whatever you think of CKS, just be glad she kicked Perry in the groin. It won't be the last time, either. And Kinky's entry into the race will guarantee that whatever happens to the Republican Party in Texas will be witnessed, live, across the nation.

And this guy doesn't.

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