Thursday, September 24, 2015

The myth that "only a moderate" can win Sarah Davis' district


"But shun profane and idle babblings, for they will increase to more ungodliness."
2 Timothy 2:16

One of the more obnoxious pieces of conventional wisdom around the Capitol is that Sarah Davis is the only Republican that can win her unfriendly district, but how did her district actually vote in 2014?!?

From her district profile on the Texas House's website.  With one exception (which we'll discuss below), the Republican candidate won every statewide race in her district.  A small sample:

Governor:
Abbott - R 27,200 50.4%
Davis - D 26,030 48.2%
Glass - L 613 1.1%
Parmer - G 150 0.3%
Pavitt - W 1 0.0%
Attorney General:
Paxton - R 27,059 50.7%
Houston - D 24,715 46.3%
Balagia - L 1,155 2.2%
Osborne - G 397 0.7%
Comptroller:
Hegar - R 27,025 51.5%
Collier - D 23,743 45.2%
Sanders - L 1,216 2.3%
Shafto - G 517 1.0 %
Ag. Commissioner:
Miller - R 29,268 56.4%
Hogan - D 20,319 39.1%
Palmquist - L 1,276 2.5%
Kendrick - G 1,055 2.0 %
Tx. Supreme Court, Chief Justice:
Hecht - R 30,677 58.3 %
Moody - D 20,604 39.2 %
Oxford - L 1,336 2.5 %
The only exception was the lite guv race, where van de Putz won a PLURALITY over Dan Patrick.  Even there, however, van de Putz failed to crack 50%.  Furthermore, the result in this race was partially due to the fact that the Libertarian candidate out-performed the rest of his ticket:
Patrick - R 24,880 46.5%
Van De Putte - D 26,615 49.8%
Butler - L 1,536 2.9%
Courtney - G 423 0.8%

[Author's note: Emphasis added.]
While Abortion Barbie and van de Putz had nearly identical vote totals, about 3000 Abbott voters didn't vote for Patrick (though they DID vote for Paxton, which means it's not a conservative thing).  This means a chunk of them voted for the Libertarian while another chunk under-voted.  The most likely explanation is that this is a Harris County based district, Dan Patrick is from Harris County, and there's a small segment of Harris County Republicans who can't stand Dan Patrick.

Bottom Line: If "only a moderate" could win HD-134, Republican candidates wouldn't have won nearly every top-ticket race in the district.

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