When the primary doubled in 2008, the social conservatives upon which Rick Perry has built his turnout machine decisively lost. Mike Huckabee pulled only 38 percent of the Republican vote. Sarah Palin might have cost Huckabee a couple of points, but candidates unpopular with social conservatives including John McCain, Rudy Giuliani, Ron Paul, Mitt Romney and Fred Thompson captured nearly 60 percent of the Texas Republican vote.
And call it coincidence, but Huckabee’s 38 percent showing bears an eerie resemblance to the 39 percent Republican support showing up in Perry’s own poll.
The takeaway? The same as it has always been. An average turnout primary dominated by social conservatives helps Rick Perry. But an exciting high profile battle between two well known candidates with lots of TV and organization will grow the primary and would appear to help Hutchison.
Friday, May 15, 2009
Harvey Kronberg thinks inside the box...
Harvey Kronberg is such a liberal cheerleader, and he drives most Republicans crazy with his slanted Quorum Report and biased commentaries on News8Austin. Sometimes I think he is also so liberal that he doesn't really understand intra party GOP politics.
In a recent opinion piece, Harvey dismissed recent polling in the Rick versus Kay race and tried to compare Rick's chances to the chances of Mike Huckabee (link).
Harvey totally misreads Rick's appeal and Huckabee's appeal. Mike Huckabee was a social conservative who raised taxes and really did not understand free market economics. He latched onto the Fair Tax as a way to bolster his lackluster fiscal credentials. Rick doesn't have that problem. Yes, he gets social conservatives, but what is all of this teaparty stuff about? Fiscal conservatism. Rick is a free market champ. I have heard him talk in person, and I have heard Mike Huckabee talk in person, and Rick totally gets economics, Huckabee doesn't. Rick should not be sliced and diced as a one trick pony only good to the base on social issues and nothing else. In the same vein, Kay should not be sliced and diced as only fiscally conservative just because she is pro choice. She is plenty conservative on a lot of other social issues.
Rick is slowly winning me over because of fiscal issues, not so much that he is pro life... although that does mean something at the end of the day. Kay's missteps on fiscal issues have also come to my attention in recent weeks and months.
Making predictions about high or low turnout helping one side or the other is just not very useful. I don't think high turnout means much of anything. There may be a special election for Senate happening around the same time, if not the same day? Democrats are likely to have a primary in the gubernatorial race. There may be hot Democrat primaries in other races as well that divert non conservative people away from the Republican primary.