Rick Perry vs. the World *
Tracking the 2006 Texas gubernatorial race.
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Wednesday, April 13, 2005
Assessing the Dems
In my interview with National Summary that I posted on yesterday, I said:
It's possible that the [GOP] primary could be so nasty and divisive that the nominee would limp wounded into the general (election) and be beaten by a Democrat. It's not likely though. To capitalize on such a situation, the Democrats would need a credible candidate. At this point, it's tough to see who that would be.
I'd like to elaborate. After taking a look at my sidebar, I see four candidates. I haven't heard any other rumors -- I'll try and alleviate that by checking in with some of my Dem friends in the next few weeks -- so I'll comment on the four I know.

Chris Bell -- He's already running, even if he hasn't made it official, so I'll talk about him the most. I find it hard to take a guy seriously who loses with 31.3% of the vote in his party's primary as an incumbent Congressman. Yes, his district was about 50% new -- 43,000 of the 83,000 who voted in the 2004 general election were new to his district -- and Bell's district was made more black and minority (voting age population -- 36% black and 30% Hispanic). Also, black turnout was high due to the Allen-Wilson house primary battle. However, Bell's 31% means that he ran a miserable campaign. Redistricting hurt him -- and maybe he would have lost anyway -- but he underperformed his district in a big way.

Can he raise the money necessary for the race after a performance like that? I'm skeptical.

Tony Sanchez -- Yawn. Were Democrats so impressed by his showing in 2002 that they want to take a second go-round? Doubtful.

Jim Turner -- I've heard the rumors that he's considering a statewide bid, but since he's spending most of his time lobbying in DC, it seems less likely that he wants to come back to Texas. He seems like the strongest candidate of the bunch -- my understanding is that he had a solid reputation in DC -- but I have my doubts as to whether he runs.

John Sharp -- Lose a race for lt. gvv twice so you run for guv? I'm guessing he'd find it a bit tougher to raise money this time around. Also, his 2002 grand strategy -- the Dream ticket with Sanchez at the top -- didn't work out so well. That's not good for the political reputation. On the other hand, I know folks who claim Sharp was talking about running for guv back when he was an Aggie.
So maybe Sharp has the ambition to give it another shot.

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