February 12, 2006
"You still like me! You really still like me!"

How bad are things for Tom DeLay when stories with headlines like GOP voters still like DeLay get published? Last I checked, it wasn't supposed to be news when an incumbent officeholder could claim to have support from his fellow partymates. Quite the reverse, in fact.

The one thing I want to point out here is the continually evolving story line from Fort Bend GOP Chair Eric Thode as to why DeLay's performance sucked rocks in 2004:

DeLay began showing signs of weakness at the polls in the 2004 election, when defectors voted for Republican President Bush but skipped him on the ballot.

"Disaffected Republicans wanted to send DeLay a message. But they didn't want to see him defeated," said Fort Bend County Republican Chair Eric Thode. "The message was, 'We'd like to see you a little more.' "

DeLay took note, and he has shown up and stumped more often.

First of all, as I've said before, DeLay started showing weakness in 2002, when he underperformed all but three other GOP candidates in CD22. No one paid attention at the time because his margin of victory was still solid, but it's there for all to see: DeLay was one of the worst votegetters in his own district.

Second, Thode wants you to believe - and sadly, there's nothing in this story to tell you otherwise - that DeLay's lost support manifested itself in undervotes; that is, a bunch of people just did not vote in the Congressional race in CD22 last time. But that's baloney. Look, we know that DeLay got 9000 fewer votes than the next-to-last GOP performer in CD22. If it were a simple matter of undervotes in his race, then you'd expect that his Democratic challenger, Richard Morrison, would have gotten about as many votes as John Kerry, or about as many votes as the other statewide Democrats on the ballot. Here are the actual totals:

Candidate Votes
Richard Morrison 112,034
JR Molina 100,132
John Kerry 98,180
Bob Scarborough 97,456
David Van Os 96,459

Not only did Morrison get the most votes among Democrats, he did so even though there were two other candidates on the ballot that combined for 4% of the total. Morrison's strength carried down to the county level, too. There were about 275,000 votes cast in the Presidential election in CD22. In the Congressional race, it was 272,620, and that's more than each of the other three statewide races by at least 10,000. People didn't skip this race. They made a point of voting in it.

So there was a message delivered by Thode's "disaffected" Republicans in CD22, but that message wasn't "We'd like to see you a little more." That message, delivered by the thousands of people who voted for other Republicans and for Richard Morrison, was "We'd like to see you lose."

Posted by Charles Kuffner on February 12, 2006 to Election 2006 | TrackBack

Kristen Mack is just awful.

Where again are the right-wing hyenas decrying the Chronic's liberal bias? This puff piece serves as counterweight to the last fifty that they can cite.

Still, it bears repeating that we all hope The Hammer wins his primary, runoff or no.

Posted by: PDiddie on February 12, 2006 3:30 PM

I think the article is full of irony. At least that's a really great way to read it!

Posted by: John D. Wilson on February 13, 2006 9:52 AM