2014

One Week Later

Nov 11, 2014 By brian sweany and Paul Burka

After every major election, it seems I find myself writing an obituary for the Texas Democratic party. It’s not a true obituary, I suppose, since the Democrats are not exactly dead, just comatose. This year brought a rare combination of considerable early optimism by Democrats, followed by the worst pasting…

Early Takeaways

Nov 4, 2014 By brian sweany and Brian D. Sweany

As the returns are started to roll in–find updated results here–here are a few quick thoughts: 1. As the race in CD23 begins to take shape, the only competitive Congressional seat from Texas looks be breaking Republican. Challenger Will Hurd is leading Democratic incumbent Pete Gallego 53-44%. 2.

Down and Dirty EV Totals

Nov 4, 2014 By brian sweany and Brian D. Sweany

UPDATED AT 7:25: The polls have closed, and the early vote totals are coming in. Here are some of the quick results, with a whooping 1% of the vote having been counted: ABBOTT: 57% DAVIS: 40% ++ PATRICK: 55% VAN DE PUTTE: 41% ++ PAXTON: 56% HOUSTON: 40%…

Five Races to Watch

Mar 3, 2014 By brian sweany and Paul Burka

Here are five races that I’m watching with particular interest tomorrow that are part of an ongoing battle for control of the Republican party. Sarah Davis vs. Bonnie Parker Why it matters: This is a rematch of the 2010 primary, when Davis beat Parker 54-45. Davis is the only pro-choice…

The Primaries Cometh

Mar 3, 2014 By brian sweany and Brian D. Sweany

It’s that time of the primary season that reminds me a lot of the endless run-up to the Super Bowl: One, it goes without saying that I love the game. Two, I can’t stand to read yet another story about the game before it’s actually played. So let’s kick-off already.

Weakest GOP Field Ever?

Feb 26, 2014 By brian sweany and Paul Burka

The candidates on the Republican ballot may compose the weakest ticket in terms of career accomplishments the Republican party has ever laid before voters. Take the race for comptroller: The four candidates (Harvey Hilderbran, Glenn Hegar, Debra Medina, Raul Torres) have thin resumes, Hilderbran excepted (he has been chairman of…

Buy, Buy Ad Time

Feb 17, 2014 By brian sweany and Paul Burka

It’s worth spending some time perusing the Texas Tribune‘s revealing graph tracking candidates’ ad buys in the major markets of the state. Of the various graphs reflecting candidates’ network TV expenditures leading up to the March 4 primary elections, the most significant one was the comparison between Hegar…

The Most Important Finding in the UT/Texas Tribune Poll

Nov 5, 2013 By brian sweany and Paul Burka

Democrats are understandably delirious over the finding in the UT/Texas Tribune Poll that Wendy Davis trails Greg Abbott by single digits. But that is not the most significant finding in the poll. The most significant finding is that “the fundamentals of Texas politics have not changed,” says pollster…

The Race for Tommy Williams’ Senate Seat

Oct 17, 2013 By brian sweany and Paul Burka

The good news about Brandon Creighton’s and Steve Toth’s decision to run for Tommy Williams’ Senate seat (SD 4) is that there will be one less far-right member of the Legislature. One of them has to lose. In all seriousness, I think Creighton made a mistake with this decision. He…

Jerry’s Daughter

Oct 1, 2013 By Erica Grieder and Susannah Jacob

Among the many Texans transfixed by Wendy Davis's June 25th filibuster was her father, Jerry Russell. In July, he shared some memories about Davis's childhood, her challenges, and what he was thinking on the day that shook up Texas's political scene.

After Wendy, What?

Aug 19, 2013 By brian sweany and Paul Burka

It's looking increasingly likely that Wendy Davis will run for governor in 2014. But still, the paucity of credible candidates for other statewide offices is a real problem for Democrats.

The Wet Blanket

Jul 3, 2013 By brian sweany and Paul Burka

Following the filibuster by Wendy Davis, I wrote a cautionary post on Burkablog in which I pointed out that the euphoria that flourished in the wake of her memorable performance was not a game-changer; that Democrats would be wise to keep their enthusiasm in check, lest they raise…

Where Does Wendy Davis Go From Here?

Jul 1, 2013 By brian sweany and Paul Burka

As Act II of the Wendy Davis show returns to the Capitol, the Democratic state senator has become an instant national star thanks to her filibuster against the Republicans' abortion legislation last week. What happens next?

What the Filibuster Means

Jun 26, 2013 By brian sweany and Paul Burka

The obvious question about whether the Democrats have a candidate in Davis who has the potential to break the party's long losing streak in statewide races is hard to answer.

Perry and Abbott: deal or no deal?

Feb 3, 2013 By Sonia Smith and Paul Burka

If so, what is it? Brad Watson of WFAA-TV in Dallas made big news with his report of a potential deal between Perry and Abbott. From the station’s website: In an exclusive WFAA interview Wednesday, [Jan. 31] Gov. Rick Perry said Attorney General Greg Abbott has told him…

The Republican field: a sensible solution

Aug 24, 2012 By Paul Burka

Here’s what I think should happen: (1) If Abbott isn’t going to run against Perry, he should challenge Dewhurst for lieutenant governor. It’s the best job available (other than governor), and Dewhurst is gravely wounded. Abbott would beat him like a drum. If Abbott doesn’t run, Dewhurst still has to…