After the stunt he pulled with the Edujobs funding, damaging his home state, Doggett deserves to be defeated. The problem, for Republicans, is that getting rid of Doggett is easier said than done. The 2010 Republican tsunami exposed Doggett’s vulnerability, when an unknown Republican held him to just 52.82% of the vote, against the challenger’s 44.83%. If the Republicans really want to get rid of him, they might be able to drag in enough conservative voters to accomplish it. The problem is, by doing so, they would weaken other Republican members of Congress who have large pieces of Travis County – Lamar Smith and Michael McCaul – who need those conservative voters. The smart move is to leave Doggett alone and strengthen Smith’s and McCaul’s districts.
Doggett is not going to be a pushover in Travis County. It is going to be hard to draw a district he can’t win. He has already shown (after the 2003 mid-census redistricting) that he can win an Hispanic district that runs from Central Texas to the border. One of the congressmen who visited the Capitol last week told me that, as much as Republicans would like to get rid of Doggett, it’s probably not going to happen. As much as Republicans would love to eviscerate Doggett, it is more in their self-interest to shed Democratic voters from Smith’s and McCaul’s districts and pack every lefty pinko lib in the People’s Republic of Travis into Doggett’s district. He’ll survive.