POLLS ARE CLOSED!
Tue November 4, 2008 7:55 pm

I’m going to live-blog the election tonight. As fast as the secretary of state’s office posts returns in key races, I will endeavor to get them posted. If you’re interested in the national races, watch CNN or Fox. I am going to focus on Texas exclusively. Who cares about the presidency when Tom Craddick’s fate is on the line?

A couple of things to watch for:
* The Democrats’ chance for a big night rests upon whether their voters went beyond the presidential race to the downballot races. Readers will recall that there was a drastic dropoff after the presidential race in the Democratic primary. To have any chance at winning a majority a statewide race or a majority in the Texas House of Representatives, the D’s must get their adherents to vote in races where all the voters are likely to know about the candidate is that one is an R and one is a D.

* The Republicans’ fate hinges on turnout. I have heard reports (mostly anecdotal) that voting today was comparatively light. If GOP voters decided to stay home, concluding that their vote would be wasted because the presidential race was over, this could be a very long night for Republicans up and down the ballot.

* Here’s my wish list for tonight:
–Obama wins the presidency. He’s really smart, and I think he can restore America’s reputation in the world. I have always admired McCain, but he’s not the person he used to be. I think his handlers did a terrible job. I’m fully aware that I may have buyers’ remorse about Obama. After Bush, I’m used to it.
–Republicans prevent the D’s from getting a filibuster-proof 60 senators. I’m a big believer in checks and balances. Hang in there, Norm Coleman and Saxbe Chambliss.
–Michael Williams wins for Railroad Commissioner. The Republicans are running out of attractive candidates. Perry? Don’t make me laugh. Dewhurst? He wants to do the right thing, but he’s scared to death of the right wing. Abbott? Too partisan, too scheming. Combs? She’s peter principled out. That leaves Williams and Todd Staples. And maybe Kay Bailey Hutchison, if she runs. It’s very possible that neither she nor Perry will be on the ballot in 2010.
–Phil Johnson and Dale Wainwright lose their Supreme Court races. No need to explain this one.
–My congressman, Michael McCaul, beats Larry Joe Doherty. If McCaul wins, he is going to move way up the seniority charts when the R’s get wiped out tonight.
–John Culberson, who is the most useless member of Congress, gets beat by Democrat Michael Skelly. Alas, it ain’t gonna happen. A pox on the Houston business community for not getting behind Skelly.
–Ed Emmett wins Harris County judge. He’s going to be the only prominent R survivor in the courthouse. Maybe in the whole state. As I have said before, he ought to be the role model for the Republican revival: conservative but nonideological and a believer in making government work.
–And number one on my wish list: Tom Craddick can’t get the votes for another term as speaker.

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