This is an analysis of the race that was developed by the Paddie camp. It is published as it was sent to me. Quoting the analysis:
Basically the district can be divided into 3 parts:
1). Christian base. This is Shelby and Sabine [counties] that are currently in Christian’s District. In the last GOP primary, these two combine for 26% of the vote of the newly configured district.
2). Neutral. This is Cass and Marion which are now in HD 1. George Lavender [the incumbent in HD 1 –pb] is not endorsing in this race. These two combine for 17.69% of the vote. Like Paddie’s Harrison County, they are on the North part of the district.
3). Paddie base. Paddie is Mayor of Marshall, the biggest county, and broadcasts his radio show countywide. This county alone, was a huge 44% of the 2008 vote, 39.37% of the 2010 vote. But Paddie grew up and graduated from High School in Carthage, Panola County. His family runs the radio station there in Carthage. Panola had 17.18% of the vote in 2010. These two Paddie “base” counties combined for 56.31% of the vote (of the new district) in 2010. Paddie also lived in Shelby County (Christian’s home) and is not without support there, but would likely cede most of the support there to Christian.
So, the scenario [which I described in yesterday’s post–pb] of the smaller counties ganging up against the big county is quite less likely in this district. Paddie will be the hometown favorite for more than 56% of the Republican voters and he has a better than even chance of getting his share of his next door neighbors Cass and Marion. Jefferson, Texas (Marion County) is 17 miles from Marshall and 72 miles away from Center, where Christian lives. Linden (County seat of Cass) is a full 100 miles away from Christian’s hometown but a short drive for Paddie.
To summarize, Paddie starts out with a 20% advantage in home county GOP vote size. When you extend to their broader bases, the advantage goes to +30% for Paddie.
And the two remaining smaller counties do not provide much comfort for Christian. They are clearly in Paddie’s backyard. Any appeal to “I am from a small county and so are you” would probably not be too effective.
[end of analysis]
No one should be surprised that the district has been drawn in a way that makes it difficult for Christian to be reelected. Clearly, the Straus team would like to see someone else representing HD-9. What I don’t know is whether Solomons et al drew the district with the aim of eliminating Christian, or whether the population numbers were such that the district fell into place naturally. There really wasn’t anywhere for the district to go. It was blocked on the east by the Louisiana state line, on the north by HD-1, on the south by the Golden Triangle, and on the west by the relatively large counties of Nacogdoches and Rusk.