Sunday, May 25, 2008

Will Texas be in Play?

All the focus of competitive states has been on states that were competitive in 2004. Now many pundits are talking about states such as Georgia and Mississippi with large African American populations being competitive. No one has ever mentioned Texas, though. The reason is that Texas's African American population is close to the national average and McCain should do well with Hispanics because moderate stances on immigration. Obama can generate a massive turnout of African Americans but that alone will not be enough to put Texas in play. But we have noticed many other factors that favor Obama.
Obama has an appeal to the highly educated so he will do well in parts of the Dallas-Fort Worth mertoplex with rich people along with parts of Houston. The Democrat running against Cornyn for Senate is Rick Noreiga who is Hispanic. He could help Obama by generating a big Hispanic turnout while Obama helped him by bringing out the African Americans. The 2008 election seems to be resembling the statewide elections in 2002 in Texas. That year, Tony Sanchez who was Hispanic ran for governer against Rick Perry. Ron Klink was African American and ran against Cornyn. Sanchez lost by 18 points and Klink lost by 12 points. Hispanic turnout only increased significantly in Laredo where Sanchez came from and African American turnout only increased significantly in Dallas. The two reasons that those two Democrats lost were that they were not running for president and it was not a presidential election year. As it is an election year and Hispanic were about 30% of the Democratic primary voters on March 4th, they will probably turnout in higher numbers. Another thing is that Bush won Texas by 23 points but it would be narrower than that anyway because Bush was from there and would do better in Texas than a general Republican candidate. McCain will not be able to excite the religious conservatives like Bush did. These reasons make Texas be competitive.
A poll done by Rasmussen earlier this month showed McCain ahead of Obama by five points. That seems to be what we believe his lead is. Another poll done by Rasmussen a few weeks ago showed Cornyn with a lead of four points. That race will be close. Although Obama does face an uphill battle in Texas, it is a state where he should spend some time and money.
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