Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Texas Primary Quick Takes: Tea Party makes MAJOR Progress!!!

"He who is often rebuked, and hardens his neck,
Will suddenly be destroyed, and that without remedy."

Proverbs 29:1

[Author's Note: Complete Election results for the Republican Primary here.]

Texas conservatives had a pretty good night.  The trend lines are set, and we made substantial progress.  Make no mistake, however, we still have a way to go.

The Good:
  • Ken Paxton comes in first -- This is the most important result.  We were pleasantly surprised at Ken's strong showing.  Ken led Dan Branch by a full ten points.  Cahnman's Musings intends to kick the snot out of Dan Branch in the runoff.  Also pleased we won't have to talk Ashley or Michelle down from the ledge.
  • Glenn Hegar almost clears 50% -- We didn't vote for him, but Glenn Hegar is a good man who will perform admirably as Comptroller.  We encourage Harvey Hilderbran to concede this race without a runoff.  If he doesn't, Cahnman's Musings will strongly support Hegar.
  • Strong Showings for Sid Miller and Wayne Christian -- Both finished first.  Both should consolidate conservative support in the runoff.  Good to see that conservative voters were paying attention to lower-profile down ballot races.
  • Democrat financed Texas Supreme Court shenanigans fail spectacularly
  • Eric Marhoum makes runoff -- A strong rebuke to the progressive faction on the State Board of Education.
  • Bob Hall forces a runoff -- The biggest surprise of all.  Cahnman's Musings has been unable to stand Bob Deuell since we sat in the Texas Senate gallery and watched him act all kissy-face with Wendy Davis (before her filibuster) during last year's budget debate.  We might get heavily involved on behalf of Bob Hall in the runoff.
  • Konni Burton comes in first -- Go Konni, go Konni, go, go, go Konni!!!
  • Huffines beats Carona -- An old friend of Ron Paul replaces the most liberal Republican in the Texas Senate.
  • Spitzer beats Gooden -- Stuart Spitzer, not Client #9.
  • Matt Schaefer clears 60% -- In one of the few races where Team Straus even fielded a challenger, the conservative incumbent cruised.
  • T.J. Fabby makes runoff -- Conservative challenger in seat vacated by the disgraced Jim Pitts lives to fight another day.
  • Stickland STOMPS Cargile -- Andy Cargile ran a bogus campaign against conservative champion Jonathan Stickland.  He deserved to get his ass handed to him.  He did.
  • Tinderholdt beats Patrick -- Straus lieutenant loses.
  • Anderson beats Harper-Brown -- Linda Harper-Brown is a good case for term limits.  She should have retired a few sessions ago.  Sayonara.
  • Chart Westcott barely cracks 30% -- In the race to fill Dan Branch's seat, Branch's little power bottom handpicked recruit performed horribly.
  • Rinaldi beats Ratliff --  A humiliating loss for the scion of a Texas dynasty and a rising star on Team Straus.  Ran a disgraceful campaign and deserved to lose.  92 votes!!!
  • Eckhardt beats Brown -- This is local to Travis County, but in the race for the Democrat nomination for county judge, the status quo candidate beat the fascist.  Travis County just dodged a major bullet.  We rarely say this at Cahnman's Musings, but thank you Travis County Democrats!!!
The Bad:
  • Cornyn survives -- He just had too much money and got really, really lucky.  Still, for a two-term U.S.Senator to fall under 60% is pathetic.  After November 5, the objective is to make his life so miserable on a day to day basis that he either retires in 2020 or resigns early to force a special election.

    (And a big, fat, hell no to U.S. Senate majority leader.)
  • Pete Sessions and Lamar Smith survive -- Unfortunately, a multi-decade status quo doesn't crumble overnight.  Unlike Cornyn, however, we get another shot at these two in 2016.  Similar to Cornyn, conservatives need to apply a Chinese water-torture strategy with these two that leads them to retire.
  • Straus wins easily -- One lesson that has become obvious the past few months is that the roots of the Republican establishment run deep in San Antonio.  The San Antonio establishment needs to be systematically replaced from the ground up.  While Straus is toxic around the state, he's popular in his district; onward Scott Turner...
  • Jim Keffer survives -- See the paragraph on Pete Sessions and Lamar Smith above, specifically the phrase "Chinese water torture strategy."
  • George P. Bush wins easily -- Gross.  Cahnman's Musings encourages a 2018 primary challenger to step up early.  Anyone?!?
The Ugly:
  • Abortion Barbie loses 27 counties -- OUCH: "Davis’ abortion problem with pro-life Hispanic voters is so pervasive that a candidate who spent absolutely nothing challenging her in Tuesday’s Democratic primary won in several border counties where Hispanic voters take their pro-life and Catholic values with them to the polls."

    Update: Will Franklin has A LOT more.
  • That crazy Larouchie Democrat makes the U.S. Senate runoff -- This race has all sorts of  mischief-making potential.  Meet Kesha Rogers, the 'Larouche Democrat' who earned a place in the Democrat runoff for U.S. Senate.  Democrats are already freaking out!!!  As a black woman, she checks two of the Democrat identity politics boxes.  She'll never win, but if Kesha Rogers could secure the nomination, she could make this fall deeply unpleasant for John Cornyn.
Lessons Moving Forward:
  • Progress rises up from the Bottom -- There's a reason why we did better in state level races than federal races.
  • Team Straus is wounded (again) but survives -- The trend-line in Texas House races is inevitable, obvious, and unmistakeable.  Unfortunately, even as the Diane Patrick's of the world lose; up and coming ass-kissers like Jason Villalba will take their place.  We need an open and transparent Speaker vote on the floor of the Texas House in 2015 and another cycle in 2106.
  • Make an example out of Dan Branch -- Dan Branch is the guy who, as Joe Straus' handpicked Higher Ed. committee chairman, whitewashed a $215 million accounting scandal at the state's flagship institution.  Also a good friend of George W. Bush.  Easily the highest profile establishment person in a runoff.
  • May primaries beat March primaries -- One of the reasons the Tea Party did so well in 2012 (*cough* Ted Cruz *cough*) was that the election was delayed two months by the redistricting saga.  If we'd had two more months, we'd have had a better shot at Cornyn and Sessions.  Ignore the 2016 Presidential election, make the primaries as late as possible.
  • Need more money -- We can win races where we're outspent 4 or 5:1.  We can't win races where we're outspent 20:1.  Whether we like it or not, money helps build name recognition.
  • It's easier to win an open seat than to beat an incumbent -- Another reason Ted Cruz won was that he was running for an open seat; on that note....
  • Watch 2016 retirements -- A lot of these clowns won't have the guts to face the voters again.  Keep applying pressure.  We're winning, but this process takes time.
With the (possible) exception of the A.G. race, Cahnman's Musings isn't going to worry about the runoffs until after SxSW, but the bottom line from last night is that the Tea Party made MAJOR progress.

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