Bonilla's Barrier
Mon November 20, 2006 12:29 pm

What chance does Ciro Rodriguez have to beat Henry Bonilla in the 23rd congressional district runoff?

If you look only at fundraising and political skill, it’s Bonilla by a landslide. But that is not all there is to politics. Races are fundamentally about numbers, and the numbers (based on normal turnout) say this: that if Bonilla gets every Anglo vote, and every African American vote, he still needs at least 15 to 20% of the Hispanic vote to win. I think he’s a favorite to get that much, because he has been running in the West Texas part of the district–everything between the Bexar County line and east El Paso–for years, while Rodriguez’s name has appeared out west only in the November special election’s first round, and Bonilla will get some Hispanic Republican support out of the Bexar County portion of the district. Still, Bonilla has never run well among Hispanics, and if the poll the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee is said to be currently taking shows Rodriguez to be viable, and the DCCC decides to invest money and consultant talent in the race, and takes aim at Bonilla’s voting record, even a candidate as lackluster as Rodriguez might be able to make a race of it.

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