Offering frequent news and analysis from the majestic Evergreen State and beyond, The Cascadia Advocate is the Northwest Progressive Institute's unconventional perspective on world, national, and local politics.

Tuesday, March 07, 2006

Can Rodriguez unseat Cuellar in TX-28?

We'll know tonight. Some information on the primary from Chuco at Daily Kos:
The common wisdom is that in order to overturn the results of the last cycle (when he lost by 58 votes), Ciro Rodriguez will have to do a better job of turning out the vote in his home base of Bexar County (San Antonio), and hope that the opposite happens in Webb County (Laredo), the home of closet Republican Henry Cuellar. Well, early voting is over in the primaries, and the totals for both counties are in.

Early voting is a good indicator of the total turn out because normally 65% of the voters in the Democratic primaries cast their vote early. In Webb County, the early vote totals were 2.5% below the early votes cast in the last cycle. The opposite is true in Bexar County, where there is an early vote increase of 7.3% from those cast in 2004. Laredo's decrease is especially noteworthy because its booming population growth allowed for a 4% increase in the number of registered voters for this election, versus the numbers registered in March of 2004.

My analysis is that there will be a decrease in the overall number of voters in Laredo in this cycle, from those that voted in 2004, because a stirring race for county sheriff in 2004 tweaked the turn out in the last cycle. The decrease in early voters in Laredo this cycle, despite a significant increase in registered voters, tends to prove my hypothesis.

Another point worthy of discussion is based on the fact that the 28th CD takes in only a part of Bexar and Webb Counties. This cycle, a race pulling out many voters in Webb County is for an open county commissioner's seat, contested by 6 candidates. Unfortunately for the sell-out Cuellar, this commissioner's district is wholly outside the 28th CD. On the other hand, the race turning out the most voters in Bexar County is for a highly-contested state senate seat between Madla and Uresti (both San Antonio home-boys), in a state senatorial district which overlaps the 28th CD in Bexar County. Accordingly, in my estimation the gap between the 2.5% decrease in early votes in Webb County versus the 7.3% increase in Bexar County, is actually greater when you consider only the voters eligible to vote in the 28th CD race (those totals are not available).
Tom Delay also has to survive a primary tonight in TX-22 - that'll be another interesting race to watch. Delay will likely survive the primary and end up facing Democrat Nick Lampson in the general election this November. I certainly wouldn't mind that scenario. I'd love to see Lampson knock Delay out of the House once and for all.

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