Contrary to popular belief, being the crusty conservative Republican that I am, I do have plenty of liberal friends in politics, too.
I was talking with a couple of them last week about the Texas gubernatorial race on the Democratic side, and they are almost all hoping for a "robust race" on their side. According to some Democrat operatives I respect, a hotly contested primary battle will benefit Democrats.
Look no further than Hillary Clinton versus Barack Obama. They feel that the race between Hillary and Obama ignited the grassroots in Texas, leading to losses for Republicans at more local levels and contributing to John McCain's mediocre victory in Texas over Obama.
A closely watched contest will be good for Democrats, so I am told.
Maybe. Maybe not. Some of the names being floated on the other side of the aisle include Kinky Friedman, Leticia Van de Putte, Chet Edwards, Kirk Watson, and even Ronnie Earle. It is not likely for all of them to run, but even if just two or three of them run, Democrats might be looking at a kind of Hillary/Obama lite situation.
Tom Schieffer, brother of CBS's Bob Schieffer, is running too, and he has a website and videos to prove it (link)...
Boring. Uninspiring. Off base. Yet this guy probably has a very good shot at becoming the nominee, as of today. Leticia Van de Putte is right in there too.
My opinion is that not a single one of these Democrats has a chance against either Rick or Kay, but a hotly contested intraparty fight could have a small effect on the Rick vs. Kay primary. A heated primocaucus contest that attracts Democrats to the polls might short circuit Team Kay's plans to attract cross over voters.
If Republicans believe that the Democrats have no chance, does that change the psychology of the Rick vs. Kay race? If there is a belief that the race between Rick and Kay is THE race for Governor, will that actually attract MORE cross over voters? If Democrats buy into the psychology that Tom and Leticia have no shot, will they vote for the candidate they consider to be the lesser of two evils in the GOP primary? Will strong Republicans see what is going on and support the candidate who runs further to the right?
Lots of questions. Time will tell.