April 11, 2005
What are these "Republican moderates" of which you speak?

The Sunday Chron talks about the dynamics of the potential GOP primary race for Governor.

The brewing Republican family feud over the re-election of Gov. Rick Perry involves more than a clash of personalities. It potentially is a fight to overcome the dominance of evangelical social activists in Texas GOP politics.

George W. Bush, as governor, successfully bridged the gap between the business establishment and faith-based conservatives without fully embracing the social conservative agenda.

Perry, after he became governor in 2000, made social conservatives the cornerstone of his support. With these voters comprising a third or more of the Republican primary turnout in gubernatorial years, challenging Perry seems like a formidable task.

But that hasn't stopped two top Texas Republicans, U.S. Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison and Comptroller Carole Keeton Strayhorn, from considering such an effort.

If either runs and hopes to win, she will have to find ways to cut into Perry's social conservative base while appealing to moderate Republicans and attracting people who are not regular primary voters.

Color me skeptical. I keep hearing about "moderate Republicans" and their alleged impact on primary elections and Congressional legislation, but from where I sit, they're like the ether wind, which is to say that any effect they may have is too small to be detected by current measuring techniques. Really, I thought this battle was fought in 1994, when the likes of Steven Hotze booted the Betsy Lakes out of power. Maybe this will be the year that the Republican moderates get their mojo back, but it seems to me that basing one's strategy in a primary on that is, much like hoping for a wave of new voters, a loser. Besides, hasn't the recent outbreak of anti-Hillary Clinton-mania already told us how this is going to shake out? I'll believe in the power of the "Republican moderate" when I see it, thanks very much.

Posted by Charles Kuffner on April 11, 2005 to Election 2006 | TrackBack

Did I hear someone ask for a "moderate Republican"?


There are a hard to detect number of us moderate Republicans. We're difficult to detect because in so many races around the state, Republicans will not oppose other Republicans in primary elections.

Additionally moderate Republicans are easily outnumbered by our more conservative counterparts which makes voting in primary elections a bit disheaterning at times.

I really don't know what you mean by saying that we're undetectable. You've detected the moderate Republicans out there with your analysis of the differing levels of support between W. and Delay in the 2004 election. At least some of those folks were moderate Republicans.

Posted by: Patrick on April 11, 2005 5:04 PM

Color you skeptical? Well then, stick to the classifieds: I think I heard somewhere there's truth in advertising.

Posted by: Cherles Hixon on April 11, 2005 8:17 PM

Patrick, I'm being (mostly) facetious. I know y'all exist. Unfortunately, there aren't enough of y'all to decide a primary, and my intent was to poke fun at an article which surmises that moderates would be a key component of KBH or CKS' strategy. Your point about crossover votes for Morrison is well taken.

Posted by: Charles Kuffner on April 11, 2005 8:18 PM

I, Chuck, and a moderate Republican. Put another way, I'm a libertarian who knows which way the wind blows.

Posted by: B. K. Oxley (binkley) on April 12, 2005 9:14 AM

No doubt there are moderate republicans, but in a state like Texas social conservatives rule the roost

Posted by: Tek_XX on April 12, 2005 11:10 PM