The delay of the primary will throw the runoff elections almost into August (July 31) — 63 days from the May 29 primary date. This seems nuts: Why do we need a nine week runoff period? (I’m going to answer my own question, with help from a commenter. The reason is the federal MOVE Act, which is designed to enfranchise military voters overseas. It takes a long time to send ballots overseas and get them back.) Any late summer date could have a big impact on the makeup of the 83rd Legislature. Most sane Texans will be in Santa Fe, Aspen, or Telluride. That means the stay-at-home crazies will make up the bulk of the electorate. This is the scenario envisioned by supporters of all the wannabes in the Senate race: Dewhurst barely misses winning without a runoff, and Cruz/Leppert/James slips into a runoff and wins, while Dewhurt’s establishment supporters are enjoying fine dining at Matsuhisa in Aspen and the Compound in Santa Fe. If this scenario comes to pass, it means that the runoff electorate will be dominated by the ultraconservative base of the party, and the majority of the turnout will be tea party types. And the 83rd Legislature will be just as far to the right as the 82nd was.
Politics & Policy