Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Big John says it will be "real hard" to keep Democrats from filibuster proof majority.

Texas Senator John Cornyn, head of the NRSC, the fundraising institution in charge of nationwide Senatorial races for the GOP, can't be especially happy with Kay right now. Nor can the Senators who elected John Cornyn be especially happy with their choice.

Big John was chosen largely because he was from Texas. Texas is where a lot of the big Republican money is. Senator Cornyn, the thought went, would be able to tap into all of that Texas cash for national races.

Now, with Kay likely running for Governor, that Republican cash gets eaten up to the tune of tens of millions of dollars. There is less to go around. Republican on Republican violence ensues. Republicans needing resources in other states get the shaft.

The Hill has more on Cornyn's precarious situation (link). Excerpt follows...

For Cornyn, the man tasked with avoiding sinking below 41 seats, it’s become a very tough job. And it’s clear he’s nervous.

Aside from all the developments so far, the one race Cornyn brought up unprompted in a lengthy interview with The Hill was Texas, where Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison (R) is aiming for the governor’s mansion and could vacate her seat at any time, paving the way for an open, no-primary free-for-all in the Lone Star State.

Indications lately have been that she will remain in her seat, which isn’t up until 2012. But her Texas colleague made it clear Monday that he’s not counting his blessings just yet.

“What I am concerned about is that it will be a special election that will be held perhaps as early as May 2010,” Cornyn said. “I don’t want this to turn into a situation where we elect a Democrat in Texas and further erode our possibilities.”

Democrats hold 58 votes in the Senate — a figure that is likely to hit 59 once the Minnesota Senate race is certified. A special election in Texas could bump the number up to 60.
Todd Hill of the very liberal Burnt Orange Report adds (link)...

Cornyn is rattled by the fundraising numbers that former State Comptroller John Sharp and Houston Mayor Bill White raked in for the first quarter of 2009. He is also nervous, and knows from memory, that Hutchison makes decisions based on which way the political winds blow. First she is in a race, then she is out of a race. First she says this then she does that. "FLIP FLOP!" If a Special Election occurs it is assuredly a different electoral ballgame and Cornyn knows that. He already has the daunting task of maintaining what the GOP has left without losing even more senate seats and giving up ground to a Democrat majority that is close to filibuster proof. But to lose one on your home turf of Texas would be extra embarrassing for junior in his new gig.

Hutchison will need to resign soon. She can't keep allowing Perry to hop across Texas unanswered jazzing up the core of the Republican base. If she is serious about running for governor she has to get her head out of the DC clouds and start breathing some environmentally toxic Texas air again. She's got to build a whole new Republican Party if she wants to win a primary and that is no cheap or easy task to accomplish within a winnowing timeframe. She'll have to resign her senate seat if she truly intends to run for governor, build a new Republican Party, and compete in a general election for the mansion. She can't do that in DC.
Democrats are salivating over the prospect of Kay leaving a void and opening up an expensive special election. Bill White and even John Sharp are both successful fundraisers, and although I don't think they would win a special election against Dewhurst, Abbott, or even Michael Williams, they could make a lot of Republicans very nervous along the way.

Suddenly, even more of that big Texas Republican cash is eaten up by not only a gubernatorial primary but also a Senatorial special election filled with half a dozen Republican hopefuls. And that doesn't even consider the general election battles. No wonder Big John thinks it will be so hard to keep Democrats under 60 in the Senate. He may not be able to come through with as much cash as everyone thought.

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