Wednesday, October 24, 2018

Texas EV scattershots

-- This poll has Congressman WhataBeto trailing Senator Serpent Covered in Vaseline by four percentage points, 50-46, with the MoE at 4.  No crosstabs at the link.  The Lib, Neal Dikeman, polled 2% and 2% are undecided.

At first glance this would look like good news, but note that GSA Strategies is affiliated with Citizens United, and both are, shall we say, "progressive" outfits.  So there's a leetle bias.

Except for this one, there's been no fresh polling for nearly two weeks.  Update: As this was posted, the TexTrib via Progrexas has Reuters/Ipsos/UVA's latest, showing Cruz by 5, which is an increase of three points over their survey a month ago.  

Real Clear Politics (without the influence of either of the above yet) has the rolling 30-day average at Cruz +7.  Texas Politics Project (Blank and Henson at UT, also for the TexTrib) has history back to April, but the song remains the same.

#TrumpRally and #EarlyVoteTexas should be influencing actual vote counts now, but we can keep divining tea leaves and interpreting cabrito entrails until Election Day.  Just keep in mind that the polls could be as wrong as they were in 2016.

-- O'Rourke gets an assist from the Librul Media in the form of a town hall with Tweety.

MSNBC host Chris Matthews is coming to the University of Houston next week to interview U.S. Rep. Beto O’Rourke for his “Hardball College Tour” special.

Matthews announced during his Tuesday night broadcast that he plans to record an hour-long interview with Sen. Ted Cruz's Democratic opponent a week before the November election on Oct. 30 at Cullen Performance Hall.

After Matthews' on-air announcement, tickets were made available through the school’s website. Doors open at 4:30 p.m. while the taping begins at 6 p.m., the site reads. Attendees are prohibited from bringing “promotional or political affiliation displays.”

And another pop culture merger for the Democrat.

Artist Chris Rogers has been at work on the mural for weeks, according to progress documented on his Instagram, but he put the finishing touches on it just as early voting began in the state.

The mural, located in East Austin, features O’Rourke, a rising Democratic star, standing in front of a Texas flag with his shirt unbuttoned to reveal a “B” emblem, reminiscent of Superman’s “S.”

“Out of the darkness comes the light,” Rogers wrote of the mural, which is entitled “Beto For Texas.”

Rogers said that the mural took 40 hours to paint, according to Austin Monthly.

I thought Election 2018 was going to be all about Texas Latin@s and Lupe Valdez, but I'm going to be wrong about that, of course.  As Beto goes, so go Texas Democrats, as we all know now.

-- You should check this fellow's Twitter bio and then read the numbers here.

Ryan's Tweet here indicates that a lot of people who don't usually vote in midterms are voting -- almost 30% of those who have already cast an early ballot.  After just two days.  The TexTrib has raw numbers for Harris and Dallas Counties.

I don't underscore Harris just because I live and vote here or because it's the largest county in Texas, blahblah.  It represents about a fifth of all the Democratic votes cast in the state.  And you may have read that new voter registrations here shattered records.  So the reports this week of hour-long waits at EV locations in Harris County -- and for that matter, across Texas -- could be something the polls are missing.  But this NBC account says "hold on there, blue wave" (emphasis mine):

Republican-affiliated voters have outpaced Democratic-affiliated voters in early voting in seven closely watched states, according to data provided by TargetSmart and independently analyzed by the NBC News Data Analytics Lab.

GOP-affiliated voters have surpassed Democratic-affiliated ones in early voting in Arizona, Florida, Georgia, Indiana, Montana, Tennessee and Texas, the data showed.


In Texas, 53 percent of early voters had a Republican affiliation, compared with 43 percent who had a Democratic affiliation and 4 percent who were not affiliated with either party.


Women voters have outpaced men voters so far in ... Texas (59 percent to 41 percent), (and) urban voters have outpaced rural and suburban voters in Arizona and Texas.

Here is the important qualifier to this data.

As of Oct. 22, over 5 million votes have been cast early or absentee in the 2018 midterm elections nationwide.

This piece, dated Monday 10/22 and helpfully time-stamped at 2:49 p.m. (probably EST) does not include any in-person votes for Texas.  That is to say: these are all mail (aka 'absentee') ballots, and party affiliation is reflected (at least in Harris) by efforts of those at the county party level who push to identify and augment those numbers during the voter registration period.  You may recall that Harris County Republicans used to have a big advantage in this regard, but Harris Democrats have considerably whittled that down.

Update: Local political consultant Mustafa Tameez expanded on the problems with the TargetSmart data in his Tweet linked here.

So while there may be considerations for other states in the article to be concerned about w/r/t to "Blue Wave", Lone Star worries are overblown, to this reporter's POV.  At this time.

-- Perhaps you noticed that Michael Avenatti quietly canceled his Texas anti-Trump counter-rally.  (Avenatti's Tweet about doing so, and at least two mentions by TexTrib reporters that I bookmarked, have also disappeared.)  Perhaps you noticed that he's been keeping a (somewhat) lower profile for the past week or so, since his client lost her defamation lawsuit against Trump.

Back here I speculated (doubtfully; scroll to the end) about whether local deep-pocketed Democrats attending his Harris County Dem money bag drag would mention his responsibility -- ascribed accurately or falsely -- for the Kavanaugh bump Republicans seem to be enjoying.  That fundraiser, on 10/16, happened the day after DNC chair Tom Perez was also in town helping the HCDP with some cheerleading, a geographically proximal coincidence that largely escaped public notice.

I should have put two and two together.  Two being Harris County judicial kingmakers Gerry Birnberg and Dave Matthiesen, who together with Perez -- and let's say, for purposes of rounding, at least one other Houston legal eagle who wrote a $2500 check for VIP entry -- very likely cornered Avenatti and asked him to please freeze it.  For the sake of the downballot, you know.

Check Avenatti's Tweet feed above, scroll back in time to about the 16th and then forward, see if you think he heard a message somebody sent him.


Unknown said...

Wow. Some Kuffmanesque crunching of numbers there, PD. The pie chart contains no surprises, but I wonder how the yellow slice (6.4% never voted before) breaks down into 18-25ers, recently naturalized, & older grown-ups who had just never bothered to vote.

That senatorial race is going to be a close one. Who knew O'Rourke had so much more charisma and fundraising acumen than Paul Sadler? (Look him up, folks; I'll wait.) My gut is still telling me that Cruz will win by more than a nose and a booger.

PDiddie said...

A nose, boog, and three feet between them of ... I'll stop there with the mucus analogy.

Remember that the TPPP dudes (Henson, Blank; blogged here and here) said he needs about 900K votes to overcome the inherent GOP advantage in TX. By their quick-and-dirty method, a 20% increase in D turnout only gets him about 40% of the way there (380K votes).

Ed Darrell said...

Thanks for calling attention to Chris Rogers's mural of Beto. Hope it doesn't jinx the election, eh?

Sad reality is, Beto's election would really be rather like a superhero's ascension to the Senate. We're in trouble when common sense and a good love for America and making America work well is a superpower.

PDiddie said...

I tried to get a comment on your post that I put in the Wrangle but Wordpress foiled me. I'm an old Brotherhood member in the WWW myself.