Perry creeps ever closer to the magic 50% that would enable him to win without a runoff—which the Perry camp expects him to do. Hutchison’s position appears to be hopeless, not that this is anything new, but it does raise the question of whether, if Perry comes in with just under 50%, she will concede the race or take it to a runoff. The Perry folks are saying that she has cut back her ad buys, suggesting that she doesn’t have enough money for a runoff. This is spin, to be sure, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t true. Readers may remember the 1982 Democratic governor’s race in which Mark White was close to winning without a runoff after the first round of voting. Buddy Temple, the runner-up, conceded the race. What will Hutchison do? I think she’ll fight on to the end. I posted a fanciful item yesterday about why Democrats should vote in the Republican primary for Hutchison, but, really, it isn’t that fanciful, at least for Democrats who live in Republican suburbs. In some areas (Lubbock, for one), many of the surrounding counties do not have any Democratic races. White’s nomination is assured, so why not vote in the Republican primary to weaken Perry? Hutchison’s newspaper endorsements ad is getting heavy play in the Austin area. It’s a good ad, but it’s all old news. Everybody knows the case against Perry by now. Most people made up their minds about him, one way or another, a long time ago. He benefits from low expectations, as Bush did before him — low expectations about the performance of his duties as governor, not about his campaigning abilities. It’s hard to move voters. I think this race is going to end up at 50+/30/18.