Tuesday's Republican gubernatorial primary in Texas is a three-way contest between Senator Kay
Bailey Hutchison, sitting Governor Rick Perry, and Tea Party favorite
Debra Medina, who suggested
to Glenn Beck that the government may have been behind the attacks on
September 11, 2001. The polls clearly favor Perry, who badly lagged
Hutchison until this summer. Beyond the nitty-gritty of this primary,
what does the race say about Texas and the politics of the Lone Star State?
Wide Variation Within Party The Fort Worth Star-Telegram's Bud Kennedy hoots,
"Ron Paul libertarians already dominate some Tarrant County Republican
precincts and elected a state committeewoman last year. Mix in the
various flavors of Tea Parties -- from sensationalist to secessionist
-- plus some Glenn Beck activists, and you have the makings of a
Republican rumble." What do they all agree on? "State sovereignty."
Latinos Gaining Some Influence Meanwhile, in the Democratic primary, The Washington Post's Chris Cillizza examines
Latinos' role in the campaign of former Houston Mayor
Bill White. "Hispanics continue to exercise
more and more influence in Texas politics but remain far less powerful
than their population numbers suggest they should be. For White, who
hails from east Texas, to have a chance he needs an energized Hispanic
base -- particularly in the Rio Grande Valley."
Texans Really Dislike Washington Even more so than you might already suspect. Politics Daily's Melinda Henneberger writes that Hutchison "just can't believe that Gov. Rick Perry managed to get
so many Republican primary voters in Texas to see her as this creature
of Washington." Perry tells Henneberger that, among Texans, "there's
great concern about what's coming out of Washington, D.C."
'The Right, The Far Right, And The Really Far Right' So apprises Talking Points Memo's Eric Kleefeld.
That would be Hutchison, Perry, and Medina--but it also describes
Texans. Kleefeld writes that Perry got ahead by cutting hard to the
right. "Perry built up his following with a full-hearted embrace of the
Tea Party movement -- going so far as to publicly flirt with secession,
which polling data showed was approved of by Texas Republican voters."
GOP Establishment Not Popular This one may extend beyond Texas. Salon's Alex Koppelman writes, "Perry exposed a divide that the Republican Party is going to have to
deal with in years to come. On one side, there's Tea Parties,
conservative activists and politicians like Perry and former Alaska
Gov. Sarah Palin, who endorsed the incumbent. On the other, there's the
establishment GOP -- to counter Palin, Hutchison had former Vice President Dick Cheney on her side."
Texans Reject Auto-Tune How do we know? This auto-tuned campaign video for Farouk Shami's has done little to bolster Shami's floundering polls.
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