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The Gallup poll of partisan preference

There’s been some buzz lately about this Gallup poll that shows 42 percent of Texans identify as Democratic or claim to “lean” Democratic, while only 40% are Republican or lean that way. Greg and Matt are optimistic, while The Contrarian, true to his name, is not, and Burka does his usual thing. I think the trends in Texas, at the local level as well as in the downballot races statewide, is clearly moving in the Dems’ direction. The fact that Republican judicial incumbents are getting between 51 and 53 percent of the vote certainly suggests there aren’t as many people for whom the default choice is the person with the R by his or her name as there used to be. The demographic change that’s a large part of this is a slow process, though, and until there’s excitement, money, and a strong organization at the top of the ticket, it’s going to be very difficult to get the leaners and the independents who continue to vote for Rs at least in statewide races to actually push the button for a D. I believe these things are attainable next year, especially given how toxic the GOP gubernatorial primary is going to be, but it’s all theory until someone puts together the full package. The Democratic rank and file believes that Texas is competitive as Gallup suggests, but there’s little evidence to suggest that the candidate pool or the big donors believe it yet.

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