As it stands right now, the upcoming Texas Governor's race is the Democrat's to lose! Here's why, and why it will not necessarily be a victory for all Democrats.
Consider our current dunce-cap wearing Governor, Rick Perry, who won his party's nod in a blistering and costly primary (alley-fight) with Senator Kay Bailey-Hutchison that deeply damaged his well-coiffed persona and left him open for some big questions about his high-on-the-hog personal lifestyle, honesty, and general inability to deal with problems greater than sleeping coyotes. I'm not going to rag on the guy (I've already done that a time or two) but, I can tell you this: You can't trust a man who's hair doesn't move in a gale force wind!
Running against him this time is the most viable candidate the Democrats have put forth in recent memory, Mayor Bill White of Houston. He will win! Now don't get me wrong, this is not going to be a wave-through, but as mentioned earlier, Perry has lost whatever gravitas he once had through his reckless mismanagement of state fiances and his absurd and adolescent boasting of shooting a coyote while out jogging....most of us don't have time for jogging governor, we're busy going to two or three jobs that are needed to to keep afloat in your misshapen economy that favors wealthy outside corporations and Wall Street financiers over hard-working everyday Texans.
Perry's blatant deficiencies are legendary and obviously haven't kept him from winning in the past. But this time there is an opposing candidate with the credentials to give him a good old-fashioned parking lot style butt kicking. Bill White, as mayor of the fourth largest city in the nation has proven himself with high-energy planning and exceptionally strong economic management. Beyond that, is his singular (for Texas) ability to craft a strong coalition of Hispanics, independents and urban-based moderate Republicans along with the Democratic faithful who sense a winner and put aside their differences to effect a unified face at their recent convention in Corpus Christi.
However, all is not wonderful for all Democrats. White is studiously putting distance between himself and President Obama (did you read what I wrote about Independents & Urban Based Moderate Republicans?) causing more than just little heartburn among the Obama faithful. Liberals, already disenchanted with Obama, will support White simply because not to would be unthinkable given the stakes in this election. Even a nominal Democrat is better than no Democrat!
Even with all this, there are some wild cards on the table. The Democrats have an extraordinarily strong slate of candidates in addition to White and I have heard some backroom concerns that the unity is all on the surface but at the street level the White campaign is not offering support or "coattails" to the other statewide candidates. And it is yet to be seen if the Democrats can mount an effective rural (E. Texas) presence and cash in with Hispanic voters through the draw of Linda Chavez-Thompson and Hector Uribe on the statewide ticket.
If the Democrats do not effectively pick up rural voters and craft a historic level of voter registration and ensuing turnout in Hispanic South Texas, they will be facing another four years of woulda, coulda, shoulda despite the strength of the ticket!