Debra Medina

Debra Medina’s Prospects

Feb 7, 2014 By brian sweany and Paul Burka

Can Debra Medina throw a monkey wrench into the race for comptroller? She doesn’t have the money to compete with the two leading candidates, Hegar and Hilderbran, but she has residual name I.D. and a loyal following left over from her 2010 race for governor. (See my colleague Erica Grieder’s…

The Great Campaigner

Jan 21, 2013 By Jake Silverstein

After eleven contested elections dating back three decades, Rick Perry remains undefeated. Is he brilliant? Lucky? Ruthless? We asked the people who know best—his vanquished opponents.

Last words about the GOP governor’s race

Mar 4, 2010 By Paul Burka

Perry’s decisive victory over a sitting United States Senator is going to propel him into national prominence. Republican power brokers will have to take notice of him as a potential presidential candidate, if they haven’t already done so. Who on the Republican side would make a better candidate? Mitt Romney…

Bad day for conservatives: the anger that wasn’t there

Mar 3, 2010 By Paul Burka

This was supposed to be an unpredictable election due to the tea parties and the Medina candidacy. It was supposed to be an election in which angry conservatives rose up and smote incumbents. Nothing remotely like that occurred. Republican congressional candidates, who might have been tainted by Washingtonitis, won with ease; the closest race was Ralph Hall's 57% victory. In fact, this was a bad election for conservatives, with one exception--Rick Perry. He was a ten-year incumbent in an election cycle that was supposed to be terrible for incumbents, but his keen political instincts enabled him to get out in front of the tea party movement early and become its champion instead of its victim. One of the undercurrents in this election was that conservatives disgruntled by Joe Straus's defeat of Tom Craddick in the 2009 speaker's race saw an opportunity to destabilize him by running hard-right Republicans against moderates on his team. Todd Smith was assailed for holding up Voter ID; he won with surprising ease. Vicki Truitt was assailed for offering a local option gasoline tax; she dispatched three opponents without needing a runoff. Burt Solomons had an unexpectedly close race but prevailed. Chuck Hopson, who switched from Democrat to Republican, infuriated Republicans in his district by announcing that he would continue to vote as he had in the past--and smashed his two opponents. Most of the opposition didn't come from the grass roots; it came from self-appointed kingmakers like Texans for Lawsuit Reform and Michael Quinn Sullivan. Incumbency proved to be mightier than ideology. The voter anger never materialized; it metamorphosized into a brief infatuation with Medina and faded away after she self-destructed on the Glen Beck radio show. A bonus for Straus: One Republican he surely didn't want to see in the House was former Legislative Council director Milton Rister, a longtime Republican operative and hatchet man who is close to Craddick and Dewhurst. Rister was running for the Gattis open seat, but Dr. Charles Schwertner won that four-person race without a runoff. In the end, only five incumbent legislators lost, three Democrats (Al Edwards, Dora Olivo, Tara Rios Ybarra) and two Republicans (Betty Brown and Tommy Merritt), and none of the losses could be blamed on voter anger or ideology. Rios Ybarra could not overcome issues in her personal life that became public, and the others lost for the typical reason why legislators lose: They stayed too long and had too little to show for it. Brown could also attribute her loss to the suburbanization of her district.

Rasmussen: 48-27-16 (9% undecided)

Feb 24, 2010 By Paul Burka

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…

New Public Policy Polling survey: 40/30/20 model

Feb 23, 2010 By Paul Burka

Perry 40% (39%) Hutchison 31% (28%) Medina 20% (24%) (numbers in parentheses = PPP 2/9 poll) N = 400 likely Republican primary voters MOE = +/- 4.9% These numbers seem intuitively correct. They suggest that Perry and Hutchison have beaten each other up enough that both are more or less…

Perry far ahead in UT/Tribune poll

Feb 12, 2010 By Paul Burka

The numbers: Perry 45% Hutchison 21% Medina 19% Undecided 16% The poll surveyed 366 Republican primary voters and has a margin of error of +/- 5.12%. The Hutchison campaign will go down in Texas history as accomplishing the least with the most assets, personal and financial. (The closest contender: Claytie…