Monday, December 19, 2005

"Run.Everywhere" and The DMN on Redistricting

Greg started it with his A "Run.Everywhere" Update. It being the "Run.Everywehre" talk. This article from MySA.com, Democrats vying to take back Texas, kept it going. It's like this HChron story from early this month, Dems, GOP set sights on elections, it seems like the writer believes that the Democrats have no chance of winning and therefore shouldn't we shouldn't even try. Not to mention at that time the writer didn't even know who was going to run as a Democrat.

Greg does an excellent job, as usual, of showing what "Run.Everywhere" is all about. And here he talks about the fact that much of the time our biggest opponent in some inside the Democratic Party itself:
Unfortunately, it's not an invisible army of naysayers who try and trash this batty idea of challenging Republicans. It's high-priced political consultants right here in Harris County. It's former candidates for statewide office right here in Texas. Our biggest enemies, it often seems, isn't the other party ... it's those within our ranks who have simply given up and are content to take what the Republican Party of Texas gives them. I could go on and on about how wrong they are, but I'd like to offer another option: It's time to prove them wrong.
But in the MySA article there seems to be a little different stance being taken by political scientists:
Political scientists don't see much of a chance for victory by the Democrats assembled thus far — despite controversies starting at the national level including the Bush-led war in Iraq and the allegations about DeLay.

Fueling doubt is a recent Scripps-Howard Texas poll showing either Perry or his GOP challenger Carole Keeton Strayhorn likely would beat Bell in the general election.

The poll didn't include a more recently interested Democrat, former Texas Supreme Court justice Bob Gammage, who's is considering a March primary bid. The same poll showed Hutchison with a 70 percent job approval rating.

"The only thing that Democrats may have to bank on is if the Republican Party is so beset by troubles and scandals that it really rubs off on them, which really right now doesn't seem to be happening," said political scientist Allan Saxe of the University of Texas at Arlington.

"George Bush would still carry this state today."

Referring to the well-financed 2002 team led by Laredo businessman Tony Sanchez for governor and former Dallas mayor Ron Kirk for U.S. Senate, Saxe said if that "dream ticket" couldn't win then, "I doubt they (the current candidates) can do it this time around."

Southern Methodist University political scientist Cal Jillson said Democrats could win if the GOP were to "go off the rails completely in another special session on education or if a particularly attractive Democratic candidate were to come along."

But he added, "I don't see a prime-time player on the stage yet." Democrats need a farm team to cultivate attractive candidates and prepare them for statewide races, Jillson said.

"Right now, it looks like people sort of choose spots and bounce up and Democrats appear to be happy if someone will agree to run for the United States Senate or governor," he said. "There's no bench strength."
And that last quote is what "Run.Everywhere" is about, building bench strength. It's not necessarily about winning this year but building the party back so it will win in the future. Having a prescence everywhere. It appears that one consultant has come around:
Democrats such as consultant Kelly Fero aren't concentrating on statewide races this time but on legislative races as part of a plan for resurgence. But Fero emphasized he's not in the business of counting out hopefuls.

"It is obviously a very tough thing to do to run statewide when you are outspent so heavily," Fero said. But he sees a "sky-high frustration among voters" that could make a difference in this election.
and a political scientist too:
Even with the odds against them, experts don't discount the value of Democratic efforts. Choices make a democracy, help a party build for the future and allow it to capitalize on any incumbent missteps, said Andy Hernandez, a political scientist at St. Mary's University.

"If you don't compete," he said, "you're out of the game."
Very true Andy. You can't win if you don't run. Greg wraps it up this way:
I can't think of a legitimate excuse for that. Run everywhere. It's the only way we'll rebuild the party. There's about two weeks left to file. Don't know the first thing about running? Drop me a line. If anyone tells you it's pointless to challenge a Republican, pity them. They're the ones who have given up. I'll take the fighters.
Me too!


DMN on all the possibilities if the SCOTUS overturns the Texas' congressional map, A few what-ifs about House redistricting:
If the Supreme Court throws out the current Texas congressional map, the state could revert to lines used in 2002. But so much has happened since then that the mere thought gives heartburn to GOP strategists and politicians.

All five Republican freshmen would find themselves shifted into districts held by senior colleagues. Democrats would have a good shot at recapturing at least four of six seats that changed hands last year after redistricting.
Good stuff.

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