Thursday, January 26, 2006

The Austin Chronicle Has Three On District 48

These are all good reads. The first one, Democrats Unite Behind Howard for District 48, is about how this race is doing two things. Bringing Democrats together:
Whatever reasons the Democrats had for not uniting behind Donna Howard before last week's special election, disappeared almost as quickly as the Republicans' confidence in Ben Bentzin's ability to pull off an outright victory in House District 48. Now, GOP party activists are divided on whether Bentzin can turn around his lackluster performance against Howard in next month's run-off election.
And second, showing where the cracks are in the other party:
Meanwhile, GOP activists are split on how to position Bentzin in the run-off election. Some favor dumping more money into his campaign while others -– inlcuding the business lobby -– are questioning whether they would get a return on their investment. Still others believe a safer route would be to concede the run-off and spend the rest of the year building a case against Howard in the general election in November.
The next two focus on the numbers.

On the election itself, Big Ben Goes Bust:
Well, $40 a vote, or however much Ben Bentzin's spent so far, doesn't go as far as it used to. Especially when you don't spend it on effective get-out-the-vote efforts, as Big Ben certainly did not. The tale of the tape:
The demographics of district 48 (It's wealthy, educated and white):
So who lives in District 48? Looking at these demographic numbers from the state of Texas and the U.S. Census Bureau, a typical resident is: better educated and wealthier than the average Texan; likely to be more conservative than other Travis Co. residents, but more liberal than other Texans; and, while more likely to have kids in private schools than other Texans, not by much -– the overwhelming majority use public schools, no doubt a factor that swayed vote totals both in 2004 and in last week's special election in a more Democratic direction than normal.
Educated people believe everyone should be educated. So I believe that pretty much points to who will win the run-off.

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