For reasons known only to themselves the Media have focused mostly on the Democrat gubernatorial primary race between *Chris Bell* and *Bob Gammage*. *Does anyone remember Victor Morales?* In the 1996 Democrat primary race for US Senate Victor easily defeated Congressmen *Jim Chapman* and *John Bryant*, Those Congressmen were a lot better known than the lackluster Bell and Vichy-like Gammage. There a lot more Hispanic voters in the Democrat primary today. It is possible Felix Alvarado, a school Assistant Principal from Fort Worth, will self-destruct. But if he doesn't I predict he'll win in the primary.
Doggett, of course, had a huge financial advantage, while Bell's finances are much more modest. On the other hand, Bell has racked up numerous endorsements from prominent Hispanic politicians, as Doggett had; Alvarado doesn't have an Endorsements page on his website, so as far as I know there's no one backing him. And finally, as The Jeffersonian points out, Morales had a compelling story to tell as a first-time candidate that carried him to an improbably close race against Phil Gramm in 1996. Alvarado has already run longshot campaigns for Congress in 2004 (against Kay Granger) and 2002 (against Smokey Joe Barton). He's not doing much campaigning, while both Bell and Bob Gammage are spending a lot of time in South Texas. Is there anything more to this thesis that Masset and now apparently Paul Burka are expounding beyond "Hispanic name = Hispanic voters"?
Finally, a few words about this SurveyUSA poll of favorable/unfavorable ratings for all the gubernatorial candidates. It seems to me that much of the criticism that has been levelled against the recent survey of CD22 would apply here. In particular, a survey of "registered voters" doesn't tell you a whole lot about the ballot preferences of Democratic primary voters. How do we know, for example, that much of Chris Bell's negative rating in that poll doesn't come from Republicans, who have reason to dislike him for his ethics complaint against Tom DeLay? I just don't see a whole lot of conclusions that can be drawn from this.
UPDATE: Forgot to mention that Felix Alvarado is from Fort Worth, while Victor Morales has actual ties to South Texas. Plus, looking at the county canvass report from the 1996 Democratic Primary, while it certainly is true that Victor Morales won big in places like Hidalgo, Cameron, Webb, Bexar and El Paso, he also won pluralities in Harris, Jefferson, and Travis Counties. John Bryant won big in Dallas and Tarrant but had little strength anywhere else, while Jim Chapman did well in rural areas. In short, Victor Morales was a strong candidate who had appeal everywhere in 1996. Would anyone say that of Felix Alvarado today?
UPDATE: Both Greg and PerryVsWorld are reporting that Felix Alvarado is now off the ballot, because the check for his filing fee bounced. Oops. No news link yet, I'll check in the morning. If so, we'll never know if Royal Masset was full of it or not.
To be clear about what I said above, I was simply asserting that the SUSA poll told us nothing about the upcoming Democratic primary, because the sample was not of Democratic primary voters. That's the only population that matters for this primary election, so polls of registered voters are meaningless on that scale. When we get such a poll, we can talk.Posted by Charles Kuffner on January 19, 2006 to Election 2006 | TrackBack