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Iran's Sham Election In Houston.
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Health Care vs. Wealth Care.
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Americans Voting With Their Feet.
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Idea Majorities Do Matter.
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Twilight Zone Economics.
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The "Shrinking" Middle Class.
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From Ashes, GOP Opportunities.
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Battle Between Entitlements & Pork.
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Let Economic Freedom Reign.
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Biggest Health Care Moment In Decades.
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Unions Antithetical to Liberty.
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Right To Work States Rock.
June 9, 2008 12:25 PM
Ace of Spades
The Real Wendy Davis
Social Security Reform Thursday.
January 29, 2008
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Jan. 21, 2009
The Carnival Of Classiness.
Mar. 14, 2006
Quotational Therapy: Obama.
Apr. 4, 2008
Mainstream Melee: Wolfowitz.
May 19, 2007
Pundit Roundtable: Leaks.
July 9, 2006
A WILLisms.com(ic), by Ken McCracken
July 14, 2006
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Wendy Davis' Primary Disaster.
Of non-Texas Democrats in places like New York City and San Francisco, Wendy Davis is perhaps among the dozen or so most popular figures in political life today. Her fundraising from liberals in liberal bastions bears that out. Ronan Farrow and the rest of the MSNBC crowd love her.
In Texas, though, not so much.
The Texas Democrats' primary performance Tuesday was an unmitigated disaster, and the performance of Wendy Davis was particularly abysmal.
The Austin American-Statesman set up a few benchmarks the day before the primary:
"So is all the hoopla around Wendy Davis and Battleground Texas just so much hype, or are Democratic prospects truly better than four years ago?
At last count, with 8,742 of 8,745 (99.97%) reporting, Wendy Davis had just 432,025 votes, or 79.05% of the primary vote in a two-person race. All told, 546,480 Democrats voted in the 2014 primary.
Failure, in other words.
If you're someone who has given millions of dollars to this effort, you're fuming and/or depressed today. Send in the auditors. Send in the adults. Double down. Or retreat entirely.
Compare the Democrats' figures to the Republican nominee Greg Abbott's numbers. Abbott received 1,219,831 votes, or 91.50% in a four-way primary race. 1,333,010 Republicans voted in the 2014 primary. Those figures may change ever-so-slightly, as 8,825 of 8,829 (99.95%) of precincts are now reporting.
But what is really astonishing is that Wendy Davis lost 26 mostly-South Texas counties and tied in two more (click for larger version):
Additionally, in 22 other counties, no Democrat votes were reported. As in none. Zero. Which happens on both sides. It's a big state with some very rural and remote areas. But still.
Abbott versus his competitors:
Davis versus her competitor:
And 2014 versus 2010:
In 2010, Bill White received 76% in a field of seven opponents, including an extremely well funded one. How could we ever forget the hair product magnate Farouk Shami:
Now, Governor Rick Perry faced a sitting U.S. Senator and "TEA Party" candidate Debra Medina in a "throw the incumbent bums out" year, so you'd expect his numbers to be a bit lower. As a side note, Governor Perry avoiding a runoff in a multi-candidate race with tens of millions of dollars spent shocked most political observers (full disclosure: I worked on that race for Governor Perry).
White and Perry are really included here just for reference. If Wendy Davis and Battleground Texas were on track to turn Texas blue in 2014, wouldn't we have seen a bit of evidence of that in the Democrats' primary turnout?
Moreover, keep in mind Ray Madrigal didn't really run a campaign. He was initially fined $500 for failing to turn in a campaign finance report, but the Texas Ethics Commission waived the fine when Madrigal revealed he didn't have anything to report. He hadn't raised any money. He wasn't running a real campaign. Wendy Davis, though, certainly was running one. Just a bungled campaign, apparently.
The abysmal, embarrassing primary performance by Wendy Davis was shared by her party at large, though, as Democrats advanced a Lyndon LaRouche acolyte, who is demanding the impeachment of Barack Obama, to a multi-month runoff for U.S. Senate. And Kinky Friedman is going to the Democrats' Agriculture Commissioner runoff.
There is no papering over just how bad Tuesday night was for Texas Democrats. Their "rockstar" nominee losing more than two dozen counties, mostly in heavily Hispanic areas, demonstrates just how misguided their "nominate a single issue candidate" plan was. Democrats failing to receive a single vote in nearly two dozen more demonstrates that their vaunted field and data work isn't yielding results in critical political regions of the state.
In short, there is a partisan enthusiasm gap in Texas, and Republicans are winning it. Democrats have years of soul searching and retooling to do before they'll even sniff winning their first statewide race since the early 90s. Anointing someone known almost exclusively for filibustering on behalf of elective late-term abortion post 5 months of pregnancy may have set the Democrats' plan back at least one full election cycle, if not more.
The Lone Star State Bucks National Trend: Texas' Labor Force Actually Growing.
Trivia Tidbit of the Day: Part 976 -- The Labor Force In Texas Keeps Growing-
The Texas Workforce Commission today released its December 2013 Employment Statistics report, wrapping up the year and providing more evidence that Texas is truly a lone star outlier in an economically sick nation.
One thing that stood out to me was the disparity in labor force growth (or lack thereof) between Texas and the rest of the United States:
While the national unemployment rate has fallen substantially over the past couple of years, that rate drop has been more about a shrinking numerator than an adequately growing denominator.
Why am I throwing 3rd grade math at you, talking about numerators and denominators? Because the unemployment rate is a fairly simple calculation. You take the number of unemployed individuals and divide by the number of individuals in the labor force. Yes, it's more complex that that, but not really.
Nationally, job growth has not been robust enough to actually drive down the unemployment rate to where it is today \, but people have been dropping out of the labor force in droves, so the math adds up on a technicality. The purported national unemployment rate is 6.7%. If not for the decline in labor force participation, it could be upwards of 7.7%. Moreover, excess Baby Boomer retirees are not the problem, as many have claimed.
In Texas, where the unemployment rate is already lower than the national rate, job growth has been robust, but so has labor force growth.
Ultimately, the implications of a growing versus shrinking labor force are myriad. The actuarial solvency of entitlements relies on a growing workforce. If we want to sustain America's superpower status well into the 21st century and beyond, our nation's labor force will need to stop the bleeding and look a lot more like the Lone Star State's growing, youthful, energetic labor force.
Note: the Texas Workforce Commission numbers cited here are not seasonally-adjusted.
Previous Trivia Tidbit: Tides Foundation Versus Koch Brothers.
Fundraising: Greg Abbott Trounces Wendy Davis.
While the official reports are not yet available for examination, Texas gubernatorial candidates Republican Greg Abbott and Democrat Wendy Davis both released (through press releases) top-line fundraising figures for the second half of 2013.
The winner: Greg Abbott, by a long shot.
A couple of interesting things to note here.
1) Wendy Davis' fundraising momentum apparently slowed down after she declared for Governor. She raised more in her Texas Senate officeholder account (likely overwhelmingly in early July, but we'll see) than in her gubernatorial account.
2) For months, we've been hearing how Wendy Davis is going to raise $10+ million dollars in the second half of 2013. She raised $8.7. A big fail.
Oddly, though, Wendy Davis' campaign performed a bit of fuzzy math plastic surgery and added $3.5 million from an additional, separate committee (Texas Victory Committee, Inc., which is apparently an offshoot of the Obama-affiliated Battleground Texas) to the mix. And most journalists just let her get away with it. Some establishment media outlets even declared Davis the winner. Fox News-- inexplicably-- reported $12.5 million for Davis, which makes absolutely no sense. Even some Texas media figures, who should know better, promoted the bogus notion that Davis "won" the fundraising period:
But the media didn't come to the false "Wendy wins at fundraising, big momentum!" narrative entirely on their own. Wendy Davis trumpeted the bogus meme, herself:
As one veteran Texas newsman put it on his Facebook page this morning:
Apparently, Wendy Davis in a first that I know of, counted money raised by the coordinated campaign as her own. Coordinated campaigns do help the candidates, but both parties run them, and I've never seen a candidate count the coordinated money toward their own fundraising. Lame fundraising report tactics to get a good headline don't erase realities, and they undermine the integrity and veracity of a candidate.
Important qualities for a lengthy campaign.
Wendy Davis' amateur hour campaign has already frittered away a great deal of credibility with her not-ready-for-primetime appearances and strange and hypocritical attacks. These campaign finance shenanigans may do irreparable damage to the remaining strands of her credibility, although I wouldn't count on the fawning news coverage ending anytime soon, given the partisan proclivities of the press.
That said, there are only so many questionable incidents that even those rooting for her will be willing to tolerate before those all-important trust-related qualities, integrity and veracity, are appended with the word "lacks," beforehand.
When the actual reports hit the Texas Ethics Commission website, it will be interesting to see just how little cash on hand Wendy Davis has relative to Greg Abbott. It will also be interesting to cast a critical eye on the actual numbers and see what percentage of funds came from out-of-state individuals and entities.
As a benchmark, Greg Abbott's campaign says that he has $27 million cash on hand and that 97% of his donors are from Texas.
Texas is still a conservative state. Wendy Davis may have raised a great deal of money from liberals in liberal bastions, but the bottom line is that she still didn't raise as much as Greg Abbott in an apples to apples comparison of actual campaign accounts, and she likely trails by tens of millions dollars in actual cash on hand.
Moreover, how quickly we forget that Rick Perry was outspent (sometimes by absurd margins) in essentially every campaign he ran for Texas Governor, but he won by big margins each time.
Wendy Davis could raise tens of millions of dollars, but ultimately, she is pro-Obamacare, anti-gun, anti-voter ID, against the policies that cultivated the Texas energy boom, and for taxpayer-funded and elective late-term abortion.
2014 is not the year to be for/against the things Wendy Davis is for/against. Not in a lot of places across this country, but certainly not in Texas.