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Van Os versus Kerry

Via Sam Heldman, I see this assertion from David Van Os:

I carried 17 rural counties that Kerry-Edwards lost, and ran ahead of the ticket statewide and in every region.

Well, hey, there’s nothing like digging into election return data for some good clean fun, so off to the Secretary of State webpage I went. First things first, I’m not sure where Van Os got that 17 county figure from. By my count, he carried 10 counties that Kerry did not:

Brister Van Os Total County REP DEM Brister Pct Van Os Pct Votes BEE 4,185 4,517 48.09% 51.91% 8,702 CAMERON 26,570 35,765 42.62% 57.38% 62,335 CULBERSON 289 316 47.77% 52.23% 605 FISHER 808 831 49.30% 50.70% 1,639 FRIO 1,482 1,957 43.09% 56.91% 3,439 KLEBERG 4,085 5,000 44.96% 55.04% 9,085 MORRIS 2,266 2,618 46.40% 53.60% 4,884 NEWTON 2,335 2,751 45.91% 54.09% 5,086 REEVES 1,217 1,690 41.86% 58.14% 2,907 ROBERTSON 3,086 3,174 49.30% 50.70% 6,260 Bush Kerry Total County REP DEM Bush Pct Kerry Pct Votes BEE 5,428 4,045 57.03% 42.50% 9,518 CAMERON 34,801 33,998 50.32% 49.16% 69,156 CULBERSON 407 375 51.65% 47.59% 788 FISHER 1,161 758 60.37% 39.42% 1,923 FRIO 1,991 1,931 50.66% 49.13% 3,930 KLEBERG 5,366 4,550 53.81% 45.62% 9,973 MORRIS 2,818 2,437 53.39% 46.17% 5,278 NEWTON 3,159 2,513 55.42% 44.09% 5,700 REEVES 1,777 1,600 52.34% 47.13% 3,395 ROBERTSON 3,792 2,979 55.81% 43.84% 6,795

(Note: Bush/Kerry percentages do not sum to 100 because of other candidates on the ballot.)

Pretty impressive, but not the whole story. To see what I mean, consider the results in those counties in the Railroad Commissioner race between Democrat Bob Scarborough and Republican incumbent Victor Carillo:

Carillo Scarborough Total County REP DEM Carillo Pct Scarborough Pct Votes BEE 3,601 4,891 40.60% 55.14% 8,870 CAMERON 26,457 32,366 41.37% 50.61% 63,948 CULBERSON 297 326 44.93% 49.32% 661 FISHER 841 927 47.22% 52.05% 1,781 FRIO 1,284 2,103 36.05% 59.04% 3,562 KLEBERG 3,811 5,033 40.57% 53.58% 9,393 MORRIS 1,925 2,942 38.75% 59.22% 4,968 NEWTON 1,886 3,174 36.30% 61.09% 5,196 REEVES 1,222 1,595 39.97% 52.18% 3,057 ROBERTSON 2,846 3,372 44.45% 52.67% 6,402

There was a Libertarian in this race, Anthony Garcia, who drew some sizeable support in a few counties (as you can tell by the percentage totals), yet despite his presence Scarborough did better than Van Os in all but Cameron (where Garcia drew over 5000 votes) and Reeves.

There’s more. Scarborough carried a lot more counties that were not carried by Van Os. I’ve reproduced those totals, including Garcia’s but without the percentages, beneath the More link.

My point here is not to bash David Van Os. I voted for him, and I agree with his argument that Democrats need to deliver their message aggressively and forcefully, and they must not be afraid to deliver it in places that aren’t traditionally friendly. Kerry’s campaign was understandably not present here, and the result speaks for itself. The point I am making, though, is that the right person has to deliver that message as well, and while I admire his fighting spirit, that person most likely isn’t David Van Os.


All counties carried by Bob Scarborough (BS) and not carried by David Van Os.

County REP DEM LIB VC Pct BS Pct Votes BASTROP 10,147 10,835 1,269 45.60% 48.69% 22,251 BREWSTER 1,601 1,673 165 46.55% 48.65% 3,439 CALDWELL 4,781 5,684 576 43.30% 51.48% 11,041 CALHOUN 3,026 3,171 264 46.83% 49.08% 6,461 CAMP 1,945 2,103 67 47.27% 51.11% 4,115 CASS 5,300 5,646 261 47.29% 50.38% 11,207 COTTLE 274 328 18 44.19% 52.90% 620 FALLS 2,372 2,680 134 45.74% 51.68% 5,186 FOARD 224 274 17 43.50% 53.20% 515 GOLIAD 1,486 1,518 144 47.20% 48.22% 3,148 JASPER 5,756 6,037 266 47.73% 50.06% 12,059 KARNES 1,860 2,257 200 43.09% 52.28% 4,317 KENT 185 236 13 42.63% 54.38% 434 MARION 1,798 2,102 84 45.13% 52.76% 3,984 MILAM 3,807 4,210 202 46.32% 51.22% 8,219 NUECES 46,178 47,307 5,091 46.85% 47.99% 98,576 ORANGE 14,572 14,977 737 48.11% 49.45% 30,286 RED RIVER 2,293 2,426 104 47.54% 50.30% 4,823 REFUGIO 1,266 1,546 182 42.28% 51.64% 2,994 SAN AUGUSTINE 1,417 1,907 90 41.51% 55.86% 3,414 STONEWALL 286 363 13 43.20% 54.83% 662 SWISHER 984 991 42 48.79% 49.13% 2,017 TRINITY 2,753 2,754 152 48.65% 48.67% 5,659 TYLER 3,361 3,461 206 47.82% 49.25% 7,028 UVALDE 3,633 3,747 472 46.27% 47.72% 7,852

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3 Comments

  1. Oh, Sarah! says:

    An enlightening analysis. Great work.

    I also admire David Van Os’ fighting spirit, but his “I’m a victim” routine long ago grew tiresome. His loose grip on the facts doesn’t help his credibility, either.

    David is too filled with anger, too intolerant of other points of view and too resentful of anyone who fails to fall in line behind him. He reminds me of George W. Bush and the neo-cons. And his constant railing against “Democratic consultants” or “self-appointed spokesmen” is not just off-base, it’s counter-productive.

    I know your intention wasn’t to bash Van Os but thanks for setting the record straight.

  2. Tammy O says:

    Let’s see….David Van Os lost by 1,276,154 votes. That’s more than the 707,904 votes he lost by the FIRST time he ran. How ridiculous can these convsersations get? The man had his ASS handed to him (Scarborough too for that matter). So does it really matter which 10 or 25 or 15 counties he carried? Texas has 254 of them. So let’s all get a little real around here. Put it in perspective PLEASE!

  3. Beldar says:

    Did you vote for Mr. Van Os or against Justice Brister? Or was it the consequence of a straight-ticket vote?

    There are some very, very fine Democratic lawyers in Texas who have the credentials and experience to compete effectively. I could name ten off the top of my head without cracking a legal directory. But in my personal opinion, Mr. Van Os — who had no prior judicial experience at any level, a mediocre academic record, and an undistinguished record as a practicing lawyer — was a vastly inferior candidate to either Justice Brister or dozens of others the Democratic Party could have run. Did Mr. Van Os have anything to commend him as a candidate other than his past activism for the Democratic Party? And is that a sufficient reason to vote for a judge?

    Just curious, if you’d care to elaborate. If not, I will of course respect your privacy.