Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Run-offs in the primaries for Texas governor

Both of them, in my always-humble O. First, about the Pukes:

The appearance in last week's statewide televised debate evidently helped Republican activist Debra Medina the most and won her a spot in the upcoming Jan. 29 debate hosted by Belo.

An new Rasmussen Reports survey shows Medina with 12 percent support among 831 likely GOP primary voters surveyed Sunday. Medina had only 4 percent support in a survey by the company in November.

Perry continues to lead with 43 percent support and Hutchison was at 33 percent, with 11 percent undecided. The poll had a margin of error of plus or minus 3.5 percentage points. In the November poll, Perry led 46 percent to 35 percent.

Kay Bailey needs to get to 35% and Funky Cold Medina to 16 -- which is the more likely of the two scenarios -- and voila: Rick Perry will have to beat Kay again in a run-off in April.

For the Dems, let's go to Burnt Orange for the opinion of Dr. Richard Murray's take, who's working locally for ABC-13 ...

Bill White starting out with the most name identification is of course an advantage but Farouk Shami has been advertising statewide for the last month to the tune of what I can tell is about $2.5-3.0 million over $3.5 million dollars. White hasn't spent money on TV ads to date and it's unclear when or if that will happen prior to March 2nd's primary. I'm a little curious how effective Shami's ads in December will be for a March primary but considering he's probably going to be on air all the way through the next month and a half, that could solve the problem of people forgetting your name/brand if they aren't reminded about it. Of course, if he got himself listed on the ballot as Farouk "CHI IRON" Shami he'd win the name id game in a pinch. Alas...

Read it all but note this from Dr. Murray at the end:

Taken together, Bill White is almost certain to be the Democratic nominee for governor this year. There is some question as to whether he can get 50% plus against six opponents, thus avoiding an April runoff with Farouk Shami (I think he will get a majority).

Dr. Murray goes on to speculate about the possibility of Shami stalking for Governor MoFo, even quoting John Whitmire in the plot.  I rarely disagree with the good professor and I only occasionally question the Dean of the Texas Senate, but that is complete balderdash.

Anyway, and as I posted on the BOR thread, I'll take Dr. Murray's bet. In 2006, Felix Alvarado's sister -- who had no prior elective experience -- became the Democratic nominee for lt. governor, finishing ahead of an Anglo who had been a state representative and an appeals court judge. She led in the primary election (which included another Hispanic political novice, Adrian DeLeon) and she won the run-off handily.

That's right; four years ago Ben Z. Grant, the only non-Latino in the race for lite gov, got less than 40% of the three-way vote in a race in which more Democrats voted than in the contests higher on the ballot: US Senator (Radnofsky v. Kelly) and governor (Bell v. Gammage).

I think Aguado and Alvarado can draw at least 30% of the primary vote between them, so I'll say the March 2nd numbers look something like this:

White 40%
Shami 20%
Alvarado 18%
Aguado 12%
Dear, Glenn, and Locke together 10%

I believe it's entirely possible that Felix Alvarado and not Farouk Shami makes it into a run-off with White; more likely, in fact than White getting 50%.

*And like Dr. Murray (I'm guessing), I reserve the right to revise this prediction as we draw closer to Election Day, now about six weeks away.

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