May 09, 2005
Judis on DeLay

John Judis has a piece on Tom DeLay that's worth reading. It's probably the first piece in a national publication that analyzes DeLay's current situation in a non-surface fashion. One correction that needs to be made:

[W]hile many of the engineers, scientists, and managers who live in Sugar Land, Kingwood, and Clear Lake are registered Republicans, they aren't party activists.

I don't know where he pulled Kingwood from. It's a good 30 or 40 miles northeast of Sugar Land and is part of Ted Poe's CD02. I'd have to check a map to be sure it's in CD22, but I think he meant "Missouri City" or maybe "Pearland" here.

This is what I mean by non-surface analysis. Judis doesn't accept the DeLay spin about selflessly making CD22 more Democratic so as to help his comrades - he actually looks at the numbers.

Morrison held DeLay to only 55 percent--his lowest total ever--while garnering 41 percent himself. Republican officials insist that Morrison got the baseline vote that any Democrat running against DeLay would get in the new 2004 district. "I would run my dog and he would get that much," Thode says. But, in 2002, DeLay defeated Democrat Tom Riley by 60 to 38 percent in the Fort Bend County part of the district. DeLay potentially strengthened his hand in that county after 2002 by moving 45,000 black voters to Al Green's majority black 9th district in Houston. But he did much worse--winning only 53 to 42 percent--in 2004. Morrison didn't get a baseline vote in November 2004. He captured part of what could have been a much larger disaffected vote, prompted by the growing unease of the region's professionals with DeLay's performance in Congress.

OK, one other correction - DeLay's opponent in 200 was Tim Riley, not Tom. Beyond that, I've covered many of these points before. Some 12,000 of those voters that got moved to CD09 cast ballots in 2004, and by a two to one margin they voted Democratic. We know how Morrison outperformed other Democrats last year, so whatever the baseline is in this district, he exceeded it. I for one think the baseline will be higher in 2006, but by how much I don't know. Nick Lampson will still have to overperform, and he'll have to outdo what Morrison did.

Link via Ruy Teixeira.

UPDATE: Forgot to link to this WaPo piece, which doesn't actually have anything to do with what Judis writes about but which calls DeLay "increasingly embattled" in the headline. I just like the sound of that. Via Political Wire.

Posted by Charles Kuffner on May 09, 2005 to Election 2006 | TrackBack

Perhaps his reference to Kingwood was supposed to be Friendswood?

Posted by: Patrick on May 9, 2005 11:33 AM

Friendswood is a good guess. If this isn't just a case of ignorantly picking Houston suburb names, that's probably what he meant.

Posted by: Charles Kuffner on May 9, 2005 2:03 PM