Houston Republican insiders are buzzing -- with worry -- about an election poll conducted privately for their local party.
Funded and designed by GOPers, the poll by Baselice and Associates essentially confirms findings by the Chronicle during the last six months that Republican candidates for judgeships and other Harris County offices have lost their built-in, 14-year-old advantage with voters. The survey showed a statistical tie between Republican and Democratic judicial candidates when voters were asked who they are likely to favor on Nov. 4. That's a slide from 1994 and 1996 when Republican candidates won with 56-58 percent of the county vote.
Mike Baselice recently acknowledged as much to the Chronicle's R.G. Ratcliffe, citing a current 1.5 percent edge for Republican candidates in Harris County, which is within the poll's margin of error.
That of course only considers the judicial races, where there's likely to be much less variance in the vote totals from one race to another.
According to three Republican activists who have seen the poll numbers -- they did not want to be identified because the results are supposed to be confidential -- their picture may be worse for non-judicial contests such as the one between Republican Ed Emmett and challenger David Mincberg for county chief executive. In these races, the poll indicates Democrats may have a slight lead, they said.
The forecast may be darker for Republicans if the poll did not take into account the anticipated huge turnout by minority voters with Barack Obama on the ballot. (The poll did show a statistically significant lead for John McCain in Harris County).
But hey, it's a long way off, and we haven't seen and Democratic polling yet. So let's just enjoy the "grumpy Republican" thing for now. May they stay that way for a long time.
Oh, and I've got to agree with Alan Bernstein: What in the world happened to Steven Hotze? Not that I'm complaining, mind you. Just wondering.Posted by Charles Kuffner on June 21, 2008 to Election 2008