Tuesday, March 21, 2006

How to Become the Next Governor of Texas

I started asking myself a question on my commute to Austin today, how will a four person race for Governor affect things. I don’t usually ask myself these kinds of questions, but I read The Jeffersonian last night and today saw multiple cars with a party sticker and signs of support for an Independent Governor.

All of a sudden things became clear. Having two independents on the ballot not only messes things on analyzing who will win the Governors race, it makes predicting the affects on down ballot races virtually impossible.

In this part, I will look at just the Governors race, soon I will look into the affect the top ballot will have on the down ballot races.

Let’s start by making the assumption that both Kinky Friedman and Carole Keeton Rylander Strayhorn are both on the ballot. Let’s further assume that the Green, Libertarian, and possible write-in candidate do not garner more than 3% of the vote (based on historic returns in a non-presidential year).

Making those basic assumptions, who is the frontrunner? Republican Rick Perry. Why? With 4 “major” candidates and multiple third party candidates the number to win the Governor’s race is a mere (hold your breath) 35% or so. Kinky and Strayhorn will split about 30-35% (neither will get it all and it doesn’t matter how it is split up), Chris Bell will get the non-disenfranchised Democrats and at this point that is 25-30%, and the third party candidates will get 2-3%.

Rick Perry’s approval rating has not fallen below 38% in the past year. This leads me to the conclusion that about 34% will stick around and actually vote for the Current Governor.

That’s right people, if you vote anyone but Bell, then you are electing Perry! Scary but true. I am all for an ideological vote, but within a certain frame of mind.

What that means, is that a 4+ person race for Governor means that Democrats have to out organize the field (possible) and convince Kinky and Strayhorn voters to change their mind (harder). It also means that Perry has to do very little to win re-election.

The flip side of this whole argument is how do Kinky and Strayhorn get the votes to actually upset the field and win?

Strayhorn has to convince the 34% of Republican’s sticking with Perry to either stay home or vote for change and at the same time convince them she is really a Republican even though there is an “I” next to her name. At the same time she needs to peel away moderate and conservative female Democrats. This is a weird tension because she can easily alienate one of these two groups by courting the other too aggressively.

Kinky, has to simply not get old and mobilize more young people that ever before. The other three candidates have institutional support, a record, and have been elected before. Kinky does not have any of those luxuries, and that’s why he is going to end up getting the lowest vote total of the four.

The Governors race is about either maintaining the status quo in Perry or voting for the viable alternative. Whoever positions themselves as that alternative first will win the 35% of vote needed to be the next Governor of Texas.


At 1:15 PM, Anonymous Vince Leibowitz said...

Interesting analysis. You're right about this making down ballot races very unpredictible. Wonder if Strayhorn will start allying herself with some Dems in Dem-leaning regions?

At 1:19 PM, Blogger Matt Glazer said...

A more interesting possibility would be if Democrats allied with her or Kinky in some conservative areas.

At 12:47 PM, Blogger StopKinky said...

Kinky Friedman has voted just once in the last 12 years, and that was when he voted for Bush/Cheney in 2004. Kinky explained, "I was for Bush in 2004 ... he's a good man." Kinky has also run (unsuccessfully) for public office as a Republican in the past.

Kinky complains about "the Ten Commandments being taken out of the public schools" and says, "I want them back, they belong there." Kinky also says "I'll tell you right now. I'm for prayer in school."

When asked about his position on women's rights, Kinky says "I'm not pro-life, and I'm not pro-choice. I'm pro-football!" Even CNN's reporter had to exclaim, "Now that's evasive, man, that's evasive."

To secure the Texas-Mexico border, Kinky proposes his "Five Mexican Generals" plan: "Friedman again outlined his Mexican generals policy, whereby he would divide the Texas-Mexico border into precincts, stationing a Mexican general in each precinct. Each general would be given $1 million and the account would be drawn against every time an illegal immigrant is captured and returned to Mexico."

Texas is undergoing a public education funding crisis, Kinky's proposal is to let the highest corporate bidders into the schools: "As to funding the education system, Friedman's answer is to put all the money in the education system and let the corporate sector bid on funding athletics."

We gotta stop this Kinky nonsense!

At 9:17 AM, Anonymous aerialist said...

Dear stopkinky -

Thank you for taking the trouble to create a blogspot site as a reference for those wondering about Friedman.

I hope you have the time to keep the site current, and would be happy to contribute any tidbits I find.

I took the liberty of registering stopkinky.com because it is more accessible than a dot blogspot address. If the registration goes through, I will be happy to point it to your blogspot URL, if you'd like.

Kinky has pretty much gotten a free pass from the press, so there is an absence of contrary commentary about the guy.

I admire Friedman for a lot of reasons, none having to do with his politics or his leadership qualifications, but I think he'd be a disaster for Texas.

Besides, as others have suggested, the most likely result of his candidacy is to insure the re-election of Rick Perry, who already has been disaster enough.

At 9:53 PM, Blogger StopKinky said...


I'm going to do my best to keep the blog current at least through the end of his petition drive, and perhaps beyond that if Kinky makes the ballot. Polling data suggests that most of his support is from voters under a misapprehension about Kinky's views on a number of key issues so I definitely want to get the word out during the petition drive.

Anything you can do to help would be much appreciated.


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