March 18, 2002
Analyzing the primary turnout

The Democratic race for governor brought out Hispanics in record numbers, but Anglos mostly stayed home, according to this report.

The ethnic portrait of the Democratic primary is dramatically evident when this year's voting is compared with 1994, the last nonpresidential election year with a healthy Democratic turnout. The 1998 primary turnout was too low in all segments to be used as a point of comparison.

About 1,036,000 people voted in the 1994 Democratic gubernatorial primary when incumbent Richards faced only token opposition.

In this year's race between Sanchez, former Attorney General Dan Morales and two little-known opponents, about 1,028,000 people voted.

Basically, voting was up in heavily Hispanic counties, and down in heavily Anglo counties such as in East Texas. Moreover, black turnout was high in the Dallas area in support of Senate candidate Ron Kirk. This is why, as Ginger notes, Ron Kirk is likely to be the candidate for Senate with the best chance of beating John Cornyn. Take Sanchez and Kirk, and add in Anglo Lt. Governor candidate John Sharp, and the Dems can make a pretty good case that their slate is representative of Texas, especially when compared to the all-white Republican ticket. I've expressed my admiration for Victor Morales, and I think he'd run a good campaign and be a good Senator, but the pragmatist in me is starting to lean towards Kirk. The runoff is April 9, so stay tuned.

Posted by Charles Kuffner on March 18, 2002 to Election 2002