Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Just in case the Texas primary matters...

File this column away, candidates. If there is still a race after Super Tuesday (I refuse to call it Super Duper Tuesday - that's just silly), you will want to get to know the Lone Star State, a big supplier of delegates and campaign cash. William McKenzie has done a good summary job of where to get votes and from what groups. Hopefully the candidates already know that they can find Democratic votes in the cities and Republican votes in the 'burbs. Of course not all 'burbs are created equal; our older inner ring suburbs probably have quite a few Democratic voters.

The most interesting point McKenzie makes is the wooing of a demographic that many of us have not considered: the Hispanic evangelical. So says Will:
In talking regularly with Latino evangelical pastors, what strikes me is that their Latino identity matters as much as their religious identity. And I'm hearing that this GOP-leaning group loves John McCain for his broad stand on immigration.

He would have a natural constituency among the many Pentecostal and evangelical iglesias across Texas. More so than Mike Huckabee, an evangelical Southern Baptist pastor who has not been as identified as Mr. McCain with modernizing immigration laws.

McKenzie sees even odds that the GOP nominee will still be in play when Texans go to the polls on March 4, and an increasing chance of the same happening with the Dems.

The races seem wide open right now, but I'll have to go with the conventional wisdom on this and bet that Texas will not be a factor. But if by some chance there is still a race, all that crying you heard about Iowa and New Hampshire having an unfair influence in the primaries will seem like nothing once the country learns that Texans will choose the candidates. Still, I say it's not gonna happen. Mark it down.

...of course I could be wrong.

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