I find it amusing that national, and some state, media members are playing the primary victory of Governor Rick Perry over Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison as a result of voter anger at Washington D.C.
It’s amusing because if a reporter took just a simple look down the Texas ballot he would see that the evidence doesn’t support such a conclusion. All of the Texas congressional republicans, including a few who had several Tea Party candidates running against them, were re-elected by mostly very wide margins.
In state house races, most incumbents were re-elected easily with an expected sprinkling of upsets based upon local issues. So if the very large Texas Republican Primary was motivated by an anti-Washington, anti-incumbent mood, why did the congressmen and others down the ballot fare so well?
It’s true that Perry promoted Hutchison’s D.C.-insider status as a way to differentiate himself from her. But it is not what propelled him to yet another victory, in which pollsters underestimated him by two to three percentage points.
Perry pulled it out without a runoff for a simple reason: The Hutchison campaign was awful from day-one. Add to that that Hutchison never presented a clear message as to what she would do differently as governor and, that Texas is doing well with the Perry-conservative coalition deserving some credit for implementing legislation which has lead to Texas’ relatively strong performance.
November will be a big race, and Bill White may prove to be a tough and problematic opponent.
Robert Pratt is host of the top rated Pratt on Texas radio program which can be heard at www.PrattonTexas.com