S/SW blog philosophy -

I credit favorite writers and public opinion makers.

A lifelong Democrat, my comments on Congress, the judiciary and the presidency are regular features.

My observations and commentary are on people and events in politics that affect the USA or the rest of the world, and stand for the interests of peace, security and justice.

Monday, June 09, 2008

Electoral politics in Texas

Texas Elections Explained (again) -- With 32 U.S. representatives and 2 U.S. senators, the total of 34 electors makes Texas the second largest electoral vote state (California first) in the nation. Texas is the only state that holds a primary that is a combination of precinct elections, followed by caucuses after the polls close. I voted and then attended my caucus. Senator Barack Obama was my pick. For those who do not understand, try Texas Demystified! Delegate Allocation and Caucus Process Flow Chart, via TXSharon. Also, this from the Texas Observer includes great graphs that show how many Republicans voted in the Texas Democratic primary: "Poll "Positions: How McCain Supporters Skewed the Democratic Primary Results" byLeland Beatty | May 30, 2008 | . To quote:

In the aftermath of the Democrats’ huge primary . . . speculation about whether the results had been tainted by Republicans encouraged by Rush Limbaugh to vote in the Democratic primary for the candidate they hoped would be weakest in the general election.

. . . First-time primary voters and crossover Republicans (those who had previously voted with the GOP) surveyed by the Observer between May 8 and May 19 preferred Barack Obama over Hillary Clinton by small margins. But John McCain also claimed a significant share, and about one of seven remained undecided.

McCain supporters, our poll revealed, made up 9.4 percent of the total vote in the Texas Democratic primary. Clinton’s margin of victory was only 3.5 percent. (The poll has a margin of error of 2.7 percent.) We can’t say that the McCain ringers in the Democratic primary changed the outcome, because we don’t know for whom they actually voted in March. But it is clearly possible.

Texas Democratic Party Convention Covered -- I did not go to the convention. So Texas Kaos is the site to find all the latest on the state party's convention that took place this past weekend, even "Hillary's Concession Speech," for those who missed it. For more extended coverage,(6/7/08) BlueBloggin's "nytexan" has all the latest on "Ann Richards and Ladybird Johnson," as well as a video that optimistically says Texas will be blue in November. It certainly cannot hurt to dream.

The general election in Texas is the next event --
Isiah Carey's (5/29/08) Insight headlines that "Baseline poll says McCain sixteen points ahead in Texas . . . When matched up with Obama McCain leads 52-36." DANGER DEMOCRAT, in "By the Numbers" (5/29/08) says,

. . . Jeremy Barlow used a recent Rasmussen poll . . . Unexpected Close Races: Texas 49 to 43 McCain over Clinton 34 Electoral Votes. Senator Clinton loses a point as compared with Senator Obama v. McCain in Texas, but Texas is still a close race at only 6 points.

Texas Republican running mate? There is considerable talk about the value of McCain choosing Texas Rep. Ron Paul as his Vice President. Conservative blogger Tony Phyrillas suggests (6/5/08) a John McCain-Ron Paul ticket would be a winner.

Senator Obama's chances of winning Texas this fall are not good. But that does not mean we Texas Progressives will give up our fight. There is much about Senator McCain that is worrisome. Here is a small example. There will be more, of course. John McCain's Texas friend, Phil Gramm is one of his five campaign co-chairs. A post by Cliff Schecter, June 3, 2008, for Firedoglake was titled, "McCain Advisor/Lobbyist pushed“ the most macabre investment scheme[s] ever devised by Wall Street” known as “death bonds.” Quoting from his quote:

McCain's campaign is already distancing itself from some of Gramm's other work for UBS: his involvement in attempts to sell financial products known as "death bonds," which BusinessWeek described last summer as one of "the most macabre investment scheme[s] ever devised by Wall Street." Not long after joining UBS, the Houston Chronicle reported, Gramm helped lobby Texas officials, including Gov. Rick Perry, to sign on to a UBS proposal in which revenue would be generated for a state teachers' retirement fund by selling bonds, whose proceeds would in turn be used to buy annuities and life-insurance policies on retired teachers. UBS would advance money to the retirement fund, then repay itself, compensate bondholders and pocket profits when insurance companies paid off on retirees who died.

References to other Texas connections:

View my current slide show about the Bush years -- "Millennium" -- at the bottom of this column.

(Cross-posted at The Reaction.)

My “creativity and dreaming” post today is at Making Good Mondays.

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