Wednesday, November 03, 2010

The good, the bad, and the ugly

I lived through this in 2002, and 2004, and 2006, and I suspect I'll be fine going forward. I posted similar election analysis a couple of years ago under the same title above -- see Good, Bad, Ugly, TBD, and a little more of each --  and it merits a reprise in the wake of last night's crimson high tide. Though I will be briefer.

The Good: not much, especially in Harris County and Texas. Michael Soto was elected to the SBOE, so that body will -- may -- moderate somewhat. This note:

The election will last two years as all 15 board members will have to run again in 2012 because of redistricting to reflect shifting population trends. The next board will develop new health curriculum standards, which is sure to trigger arguments over sex education.

State representative Donna Howard held on by .03 percent, which is 15 votes. She must still survive a recount. Hubert Vo was in trouble early in the evening but pulled ahead late. Nationally, in California Jerry Brown and Barbara Boxer held the line, and Harry Reid turned back Sharron Angle somewhat easier than anyone thought.

The Bad: where to begin? National results turned out almost as predicted, with Speaker Boehner, and a Senate Tea Party caucus of Rand Paul and Marco Rubio and Pat Toomey and a few other loons trying to take over for Mitch McConnell. Chet Edwards and Ciro Rodriguez and even Solomon Ortiz -- though those last two may go to run-off -- fall out of the Congress. The Texas statewide results keep the sixteen-year undefeated streak alive for Republicans. Anger at incumbents? What's that?

A couple of Senate seats nearly won by the Democrats -- Pennsylvania and Illinois -- were lost to the GOP late in the evening.

The Ugly: Harris County was a bloodbath of straight ticket Republican voting. The GOP amassed almost a 50,000-vote lead across the board that no one could overcome: not respected Democratic incumbents District Clerk Loren Jackson, Judge Dion Ramos, nor Commissioner Sylvia Garcia.

Texas Dems lost almost two dozen seats in the statehouse. The worst of it included caucus leader Jim Dunnam, Houston reps Kristi Thibaut and Ellen Cohen, Austin-area incumbents Patrick Rose, Valinda Bolton, Diana Maldonado, El Paso's Joe Moody, Plainview's Joe Heflin, Dallas-area legislators Paula Pierson, Chris Turner, Robert Miklos, Carol Kent, Kirk England, and Allen Vaught, and East Texans Mark Homer, David Leibowitz, and Jim McReynolds.

Solomon Ortiz Jr., Abel Herrero, and Yvonne Gonzalez-Toureilles in South Texas also went down. What does that tell you about Democratic turnout?

And Justice Linda Yanez also lost her race to retain her 13th Court of Appeals seat, 50.8 - 49.1. There will many stones thrown at the Hispanic communities statewide for letting so many of their incumbents get defeated.

If you need to know more, you know Kuffner always does this better than me. The Trib also looks ahead to a Speaker's contest and some of the redistricting and legislative challenges.

Update: Harold Cook ...

The (state's) Republicans have an additional challenge - redistricting. They can't protect them all, there aren't enough reliable Republican voters Texas to draw into that many districts. Their first order of business will be to figure out who to throw over the side. Their caucuses will get ugly in a hurry.

Republicans made historic gains only two years after suffering historic losses. Voters across America aren't attracted to either political Party in current-day politics - they're merely repelled by the latest thing that the Party in power does.

Democrats in Texas should remain constructive, but they should be very clear who they answer to: the constituents packed into their districts back in 2001, who are about to be the biggest victims of historic budget cuts in the history of the state.

Good luck governing, Republicans. You're going to need it.

Update: Heh.

Bennet has just taken the lead in Colorado. And with just Boulder (deep Blue) and a sliver of El Paso County (Colorado Springs) left to report (and maybe Arapahoe, though that looks like another AP glitch), this one stays Blue.

So thanks Teabaggers! Thanks to your efforts, we got to keep seats in Colorado, Nevada, and Delaware.

Thanks to your efforts, we'll have a 53-47 Senate, rather than a 50-50 one.

Heckuva job rescuing the Democrats from themselves!

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