25 October 2010

What It Will Take For White To Win

Texas Democrats have some very harsh truths to face as they head into the final week of the elections.  The Texas Lyceum Poll (the most reliable of all the polls) puts Perry ahead of White by 5% percentage points.  Now, given that there is always a margin of error of 2 - 3 percentage points, White could be closer or further than the original number projects.

Perry has virtually all the Republicans and conservatives ready to vote for him, while, White has done an outstanding job of solidifying the traditional Democratic base, and winning over a majority of younger and independent voters.  There is no doubt that White will show better than any Democrat in a very, very long time. But, here's the rub. The undecided pool is only 3% and that is an extremely small segment from which White can draw to overtake Perry.

Undecideds at this point in a politcal campaign are usually uneducated, uninterested, and uninvolved and are more easily swayed by emotion and buzz words than reason or logic.  Perry wins on that score.

In order to win, White is going to have to find voters missed by the polls.  The campaigns of Hector Uribe and Linda Chavez-Thompson in South Texas and "The Valley" combined with Hank Gilbert's focus on rural voters might be the source of those votes.  Those demographics generally are under represented in the polls and could be the "sleepers" that would propel White into the Governor's mansion (or trailer).

Even so, the key to those votes lie with the strength of grassroots activists to mobilize and deliver voter turn-out on election day.  There is one more week of early voting and reports are that the Democratic precincts are witnessing strong turn-out.  It waits to be seen if that energy will be there in the form of car-pooling, phone-banking, and card-pushing come election day.

Without it, Democrats will mollify themselves with, "At least we have something to build on, and then proceed to turn on themselves gnawing and tearing away like gut-shot wolves!"

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