By delaying her decision about leaving the Senate, she damaged her candidacy in an unexpected way. Once Bill White recognized that there would be no Senate vacancy, he switched to the governor’s race. In doing so, he instantly won the loyalty of Democrats across Texas. Had Hutchison resigned her seat, White would be running for the Senate today, not governor. Because of the weak Democratic field (sans White) in the governor’s race, Democrats and independents who don’t like Rick Perry would be thinking about voting for Hutchison in the Republican primary, which would effectively be a general election for governor. But White’s candidacy for governor removed any incentive for Democrats and independents to vote in the Republican primary. They are assured of getting their shot at Perry in November.
Politics & Policy