SocraticGadfly: Pre-election roundup and observations

November 02, 2014

Pre-election roundup and observations

First, if early voting is any indication, Battleground Texas' get out the vote push is a big fat flop.

And, with that as a baseline, we can go on to an overview of Texas' elections likelihood, which is largely similar to what friend Perry says.

First, in the main Texas race? Rick Perry beat Bill White 55-42 in 2010. Based on the turnout news above, what I'll take as semi-scientific findings from my reader poll on this race, at right, and other information, I'll be surprised if Wendy Davis narrows that gap by more than 2 percentage points against Greg Abbott. I'll also be surprised if Abbott widens it more than two percentage points. Unless Dems field a truly godawful candidate, I think 40 percent for a statewide non-judicial race is probably a Democrat baseline.

In addition to not bolstering turnout, BGTX and Dems in general, in Texas and beyond, are finding more and more evidence that demographics, whether of age or minorities, will NOT be their savior. I've blogged about this myth, especially re Hispanic voters, for a full year or more. Latest confirmation comes in the age-related issue: Millennials are moving more away from Dems.

Post-mortems on why BGTX couldn't get more people out, and why Davis didn't run better, will be saved for when the death is officially pronounced. Per Tiger Beat on the Potomac, the semi drive-by hit nature of the piece aside, the post-mortems of the two will be connected, and will be judged on two things: overall turnout and the percentage point gap.

Second, I'm sure Perry's right that no House seats change hands. Per the turnout info, he's also probably right that the GOP may actually add a few states in the Lege. If so, doorknob help us with Abbott as gov and Dan Patrick as lite guv.

That said, if there's any chance of preventing that, or of bolstering the Green Party as it looks for better candidates, here's my endorsements and suggestions.

There's also one constitutional amendment on the ballot. In a separate piece, I say why I think you should vote No on it.

Briefly, national numbers and races. I expect the Senate to be either 50-50 or maybe 51-49, counting any independents who may get elected as caucusing Democratic. Per Perry, we may not know for sure until some December runoffs. I expect Rick Scott to lose narrowly in Florida but Scott Walker to stay on in Wisconsin. And, in a major state initiative, I expect, for both better and worse, that Oregon will pass a GMO labeling law.

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