November 04, 2002
Experts channel Kuff again

A good article in the Houston Press about the state Democrats' Dream Team ticket that echoes a couple of themes that you've seen here before:

Recent media reports seized on the relatively low number of newly registered Texas voters with Spanish surnames -- they were up only 170,000 over last year. That was viewed as a sign that both the Sanchez campaign and a registration drive spearheaded by former San Antonio mayor Henry Cisneros were sputtering.


Democratic strategists say the attention accorded the relatively low new voter figures misses the point of the Democratic game plan: to maximize the turnout of previously registered Hispanics and other party constituencies.

"True enough, there haven't been a hell of a lot of Hispanic registrants," admits Dan McClung of Campaign Strategies. "But we decided early on that we had about a million Hispanic registered voters who had never cast a ballot, and that we were a lot better off spending our money trying to get them to vote rather than going and finding people who were not registered but were citizens."

According to McClung, "There's plenty of target. I don't think we're going to turn the world upside down, but I think we're in the range to win some elections. And it's going to be largely because we got a better turnout in the Hispanic world.

Which I've said multiple times, such as here and here.

If Democrats have nothing to show for all that effort and organization on Tuesday night, it's going to be awfully difficult to find future candidates who'll throw away their treasure running under the party banner. Even if Sharp wins his race, there's likely to be the suspicion among minorities that they got used by an Anglo who really ran as Republican Lite.

Democratic consultant and lobbyist George Strong opines that the Dream Team will go down in history as a success if the party maintains its control of the state House speakership, Sharp becomes lieutenant governor and some down-ballot races go to the Democrats. He agrees even those results might leave a residue of bitterness among Hispanic and black organizers.

"They'll say, 'Hey, we did our part, what happened to the yellow dogs?' " says Strong, using a term referring to the blue-collar Anglo wing of the party.

Yep, I saw that one coming, too. Sure hope I don't get a chance to find out if I'm right, too.

Anyway, there's much of interest here. Check it out.

Posted by Charles Kuffner on November 04, 2002 to Election 2002 | TrackBack