Election Night V -- The post-mortem
Tue July 31, 2012 11:33 pm

Going through the comments, I see claims that this was a great night for conservatives. Not to be contrary, but I don’t agree, at least not fully. Yes, Cruz won in a very impressive fashion, and so did Donna Campbell, but several conservatives fell by the wayside: Bill Keffer. Jim Landtroop. Sid Miller. What I found interesting was that Republican voters opted for moderation in legislative races involving extreme conservatives. Villalba beat Keffer, Ken King beat Landtroop, and J. D. Sheffield beat Sid Miller. Ken Miller won a victory for conservatives and so did Stephanie Klick. But this was not a tea party sweep, like the election of 2010. Moderates were able to beat conservatives, something that wasn’t the case in the first round of the primary.

The question now is how deep is the rift in the Republican party and can it be patched up? I think it can be, but only if Republicans leave their past behind. Dewhurst and Perry have been around too long. They need to yield the floor to others. Cruz, it is clear, is a great political talent. He’s the Mike Trout of Texas politics, a rookie of the year candidate who is better than the veterans. He captured the imagination not just of the Texas electorate, but of the nation. He has the potential to be a great United States senator. My first reaction was that he is an ideologue, but I don’t think he’ll remain one for long. He’s going to figure out the Senate and his role in it. His campaign was basically flawless. He is by far the most talented person in Texas politics (not the highest of bars to clear).

CORRECTION: I previously reported that Ciro Rodriguez had defeated Pete Gallego in CD-23. The returns were incomplete. Gallego ultimately prevailed.

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