Tuesday, April 29, 2008

A Blue Lone Star State?

Perhaps borrowing a page from the Dallas Cowboys playbook, our fine state may be ready to change its Lone Star to blue. (Butchered metaphor? Perhaps, but I stand by it.)

We received our fresh clean shiny new copy of Texas Monthly on Saturday with a very craggy Willie Nelson on the cover. He’s still going strong no doubt. We should probably go ahead and institute a monarchy and crown him King of Texas.

But what caught my eye were not Willie’s weathered hands (OK, those caught my eye as well), but Paul Burka’s column asking if Texas is about to be a Democratic state again? (Almost Blue, May 2008). Fascinating to even ponder the question.

Burka notes that there were scads more Democratic voters in the March primary than Republicans in several key counties including Dallas, Tarrant, Harris, Collin, and Denton. And there were just about as many total voters in the primary as there were in the 2004 general election.

Of course Dallas county Dems swept out the Republicans last year, in what has been considered the first possible sign of a realignment. Even competent smart officeholders were not spared (paging Margaret Keliher, we miss you!) if they had an R next to their name.

There has been quite a bit of speculation that some of the strong numbers in the Democratic primary came from cynical and insincere Republicans who were trying to extend the Democratic primary as long as possible by voting for Senator Clinton. Burka thankfully notes that the numbers do not seem to bear this out.

Is Texas becoming a blue state again? Not even King Willie knows, but we’ll find out in November (watch out Sen. Cornyn!)


Big Tex said...

I don't know if we're becoming a blue state per se, but we're definitely becoming a purple state, if nothing else. We have a decent shot of retaking the Texas House and knocking off John Cornyn, and if Obama's on the ballot this fall we might even be able to get the state's electoral votes, for the first time in my memory. And if Governor Goodhair wins his party's primary in 2010, we'll be well-placed to win back the governor's office.

The state's changing demographics are going to help our prospects a lot - more Latino voters, and a new generation of voters who are a lot more Democrat-friendly than their parents and grandparents. I feel pretty optimistic about our future down here, especially if we're in a position to undo some of that Republican gerrymandering when the new decade begins.

Kevin L. Richardson said...

Hmmm...Texas as a blue state...possible. And, this election year...probable.

Change is the call for this election. The majority of folks just have a bad taste in their mouths and see the problem within a particular party.

Bush was helped in 2000 because he was the "anti-Clinton" and Clinton helped himself and his party out of office. And I haven't even mentioned "Lockbox".

Make no mistake, whoever wins this election will have 4-8 years of their own mistakes, miscues and misgivings as well has positive change. And, the winning party will do whatever they can to change the game to their favor.

Change happens. Sometimes for good reason and other times for change's sake. I think this one will be a cocktail of the two mixed together.

Brian said...

Thanks Gentlemen for your comments. I'm still in shock that we're even discussing this possibility...

Gov. Goodhair is like the Terminator. He never goes away. Even winning reelection with a plurality in the face of terrible unpopularity. That said, I don't see him even winning the party primary if Sen. Hutchison runs.

Speaking of gerrymandering, I would love to see a nonpartisan commission draw up the district lines. The way they are currently drawn is a complete joke. I'm not sure I trust either party to put something like that in place, but I'll jump on board if anyone is willing to push it.

Big Tex said...

A non-partisan commission would be a godsend. And that's something that should be done in every state, not just here.

Yeah, if Kay Bee runs for governor, she'll probaly get the nomination, and if that's the case it'll be a lot harder for the Dems to win. She wouldn't be as bad as Goodhair or any of the other Repub possibilities, but still, I'd prefer a Democrat. Hopefully she chooses not to run again, but who knows?