Friday, May 4, 2012

Texas Senate Mash-up

Some thoughts I had about last night's US Senate "forum" on PBS....

Cruz continues attack on Dewhurst, Joe Holley,

The Republicans:
Dewhurst, as befits the front-runner, tried in his interview segment to keep his eye on Washington, basically ignoring his rivals. The 66-year-old touted "the Texas model" for the rest of the nation.
This is what Dewhurst should have done. The only poll that I've seen is the PPP poll, that was taken at the very beginning of the Dewhurst attack ad run, and it showed Cruz closing. I'm not sure that is the case now.
Asked about an ad the Dewhurst campaign released last week questioning Cruz's connection as an attorney in a case involving Chinese copyright infringement, Cruz called Dewhurst a liar.
I've a feeling that Cruz' internal numbers are showing this attack is effective. It's very rare to counter-attack head-on if it's not.
"For too long Washington has over-taxed, over-spent and over-regulated," said Leppert, who was the chief executive officer of Turner Construction before being elected mayor.
Leppert's big problem is that his campaign message is out of sync with his record. Unfortunately, for him, it's a bad time to try and run as "the moderate Republican option."
James, 51, called for a corporate tax rate of zero percent, which, in his view, would create jobs.
Craig James.....yeah. He also called for eliminating the EPA, which is not a bad idea, in theory, but as a practical matter is impossible. The focus should be on reform.

The Democrats:
Hubbard said he was older than Joe Biden, the vice president, when he was elected to the U.S. Senate from Delaware at 29. "I'm the only one in the race who isn't a career politician or a super-wealthy person," he said.
It's like a mish-mash of Republican anti-Washington sentiment and Democratic populism. Also, a comparison to VP Joe Biden is probably not the way to win friends and influence people in a State as Red as Texas.
Sadler, an acknowledged expert on public school finance when he served in the Texas Legislature from 1991 to 2003, used his interview time to talk about education.
He spent the entirety of the debate for the US Senate, speaking on an issue that won't be directly addressed at a Federal level. This is what people mean when they say the Democrat's bench strength is weak.

Overall I didn't see anything in two excruciatingly boring hours that convinced me Dewhurst is going to lose. Cruz' hope is a low-turnout run-off and, while there's a chance that might happen, it will be telling to see what the next round of polling reveals. I just wish that someone other than PPP or The Texas Tribune's online poll would bring out some new numbers.

I've a feeling they'll show Dewhurst starting to pull away.

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