Thursday, June 15, 2006

Bell raises more money that Strayhorn

From the Star Telegram:
Democrat Chris Bell's fundraising during the recent 30-day special legislative session on school finance was nearly on par with that of Republican Gov. Rick Perry and slightly ahead of independent gubernatorial candidate Carole Keeton Strayhorn, according to reports filed Wednesday.
Bell, a one-term former congressman from Houston who has been seen as an underdog in this year's governor's race, reported collecting more than $333,000 from April 17 through May 16. Perry, who is seeking his second full term, reported raising just over $375,000. Strayhorn, the state comptroller who quit the Republican Party in January to run as an independent, raised about $307,000 during the period.
"This report shows that Chris Bell is consolidating his support in the Democratic Party in a serious way," Stanford said. "People are beginning to realize that he is the only guy who can beat Rick Perry."
Author and entertainer Kinky Friedman, who is also making an independent bid for governor, reported raising $149,142.

1 comment:

c4n3p said...

It is not too surprising that Strayhorn's financing is drying up. The money she raised early was the result of some special interests who typically support Democrats giving her a boost onto the ballot (which helps Bell almost as much it helps her). Not that she's on the ballot, don't expect her to raise much more.

More importantly, even though some traditional Democrat fundraisers gave her money to protect their pet interests, the Democrat voters will NEVER embrace Strayhorn, and she can't beat Perry for the Republican vote, so Strayhorn can't win.

Here's the analysis of the Lone Star Project:

"The unusual multi-candidate gubernatorial field in Texas has created an environment that may defy current conventional wisdom. Particularly, early observers may be overestimating the ability of Carole Strayhorn to garner a plurality of support in a potential four candidate field without the base of support that a party nomination provides. Conversely, although Chris Bell has raised relatively little money to date, he won the Democratic primary easily and has a voting record and political history virtually all Democrats, and some true independents, can embrace.

An analysis of the four-candidate field, based on projected voter turnout in 2006, shows that in order to compete and win, Strayhorn would have to run a campaign that simultaneously cuts deeply into the expected Republican vote that would otherwise go to Rick Perry AND cut significantly into the expected Democratic vote that would otherwise go to Bell. Gaining a little from both won’t work, and cutting deeply into one, but not the other, falls short as well. ... Strayhorn has to win a difficult game of “playing both sides against the middle.” She has no natural base, so she has to carve one from a very large number of regular Republican voters. However, she must build this Republican base while establishing voter appeal to Democrats, with whom she has no natural affinity....

Strayhorn, interestingly, appears to face the most difficult task of all – she must concentrate heavily on voters who typically vote Republican in a two party race for at least two reasons.
1. Splitting or even winning a majority of Democratic voters does not get Strayhorn to a plurality. She must capture a major portion of votes that would otherwise go to Perry.
2. Carole is a Republican. She identified herself as a Republican. She became and ran as a Republican before Rick Perry. (Source: The Associated Press, 11/2/1986 and Associated Press, 5/11/1989) Prior to 2006, she had voted in every single Republican primary since at least 1990. (Source: Travis County Elections Administration) She has close political and family ties to the Bush White House. In 2002, she endorsed, ran with, and campaigned for the entire Texas Republican ticket, including Rick Perry."

This excellent analysis is confirmed by Mike Baselice, a pollster who was interviewed in the Texas Monthly article:

"In 2002 the most accurate pollster—by far—was Mike Baselice, who works for Perry and correctly predicted the outcomes of the state’s major races within fractions of a percentage point. Baselice believes that the race can be understood in terms of the built-in votes that Perry and Bell are likely to get as major-party nominees. “The lowest Republican vote this decade was David Dewhurst’s 51.8 percent in the 2002 lieutenant governor’s race against John Sharp,” he says. “So 52 percent is the base. The Democrats went as low as 32 percent, when Marty Akins got stomped for comptroller by Strayhorn. Let’s be generous and say the Republican base is only 50, the Democratic base is as much as 35, and the ticket splitters are the remaining 15.”

But how much of those base percentages can realistically be expected to hold? “Perry got 92 percent of the Republican vote in 2002,” says Baselice. “If he only gets 80 percent of his base, that puts him at 40 percent right away. But then you have to remember that he also got 15 percent of the Democratic vote against Sanchez.” Of the roughly 50 percent Republican vote, Baselice sees 80 percent going to Perry, 10 percent to Strayhorn, 5 percent to Bell, and 5 percent to Friedman. Of the Democrats’ 35 percent, he sees 75 percent going to Bell, 10 percent to Perry, 10 percent to Strayhorn, and 5 percent to Friedman. He assumes that the 15 percent independent vote will be split 30-30-30 among Perry, Strayhorn, and Bell, followed by Friedman with 10. The net result: Perry wins with 48 percent, followed by Bell at 33.25 percent, Strayhorn at 13 percent, and Friedman at 5.75 percent."

Finally, this is the same conclusion of analyst Chuck McDonald (links: blog, audio).

If anyone tells you they think Strayhorn will get any significant amount of support from Democrats, ask them if they are aware (and believe me, the voters will be aware before the election) that Strayhorn (1) was the deciding vote to approve DeLay's illegal redistricting plan, (2) is anti-environment, (3) advocated cutting CHIPs money for Texas children's access to health care, (4) showed religious bigotry against the progressive Universalist Unitarian church, (5) backed the homophobic Constitutional amendment to "re-ban" (it was ALREADY illegal) gay civil unions, and (6) opposes a woman's right to reproductive choice.