Every election cycle, the Texas GOP gears up to push the party ticket in what’s known as “Texas Victory.” But the door-hanger push cards for 2016 are prominently promoting people who aren’t on the ballot, while leaving the actual 2016 candidates relegated to the background.

Each “Victory” effort is headlined by a state official, but run by political consultants. This year, it’s Land Commissioner George P. Bush who is the titular head of the project. The lead consultants are guys last seen cashing checks from perennial loser Gary Gates as he charted (another) bloated multi-million dollar campaign implosion.

Click image to see the full flyer.

Click image to see the full flyer.

The front of the “Victory 2016” door hanger features pictures and bios of Gov. Greg Abbott, Bush, and the chairman of the state GOP, Tom Mechler. Abbott and Bush aren’t up for re-election until 2018, while Mechler isn’t even elected by voters but is instead selected by delegates to the biannual state GOP convention.

All three are nice guys. None of the three are on the November 2016 ballot.

(I tried to reach Mr. Bush for comment, but hadn’t heard from him by the time I needed to hit “publish.” If I hear from him, I’ll add his comments as an update.) UPDATED BELOW.

The back of the flyer has small pictures of two candidates actually on the ballot: the Republican candidate for the Railroad Commission, Wayne Christian, and the local Republican state representative. Most of the real estate on the back is taken up by a “What Republicans Stand For” filler text.

That’s it.

As hard-charging campaign literature goes, this 2016 flyer looks a whole lot like a meek 2018 peep.

Between a consulting group still stinging over being beaten by Christian in the primary, and a statewide official (Bush) who is rumored to have U.S. Senate aspirations, the cards probably make sense to someone, but not too anyone actually concerned with winning down-ballot races this November.

Republicans expect the Victory effort to get undecided voters across the line in actual contested races this November. Unfortunately, the 2016 “victory” push is more like an establishment yawn.

UPDATE (5:30pm): I spoke with Commissioner Bush he said this was the first of “many” pieces that Victory will produce over the next several months. He noted he’s committed to the GOP slate’s win, and will make sure the Victory effort reflects that in future materials.

Michael Quinn Sullivan

Michael Quinn Sullivan is the publisher of Texas Scorecard. He is a native Texan, a graduate of Texas A&M, and Eagle Scout. Previously, he has worked as a newspaper reporter, magazine contributor, Capitol Hill staffer, think tank vice president. Michael and his wife have three adult children, and a dog. Check out his podcast, Reflections on Life and Liberty.

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