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Turnout for Tom

Looks like Tom DeLay is confident of his chances in the CD22 primary.

With one week before the Republican primary in the 22nd Congressional District, the four candidates are setting strategies for how to make the most of the home stretch.

As incumbent Rep. Tom DeLay’s staff targets past voters and confirms that they will support him on March 7, the Sugar Land Republican is confident that he has laid the groundwork to spur his supporters to the polls.

Indeed, he will be in Washington on Wednesday, Thursday and maybe part of Friday to attend hearings and vote on the House floor.

Meanwhile, challenger Tom Campbell, a lawyer, may spend time between constituent events parking his mobile campaign RV at a local Wal-Mart to meet a few more folks. Candidate Mike Fjetland, also a lawyer, plans to meet voters today at Bob’s Taco Station in Rosenberg and at a pancake supper at his church, Richmond’s Calvary Episcopal.

Former schoolteacher Pat Baig’s schedule was too fluid to offer details on specific events, spokesman Glen Risley said.

With all due respect, Pat, that sounds a lot like there’s not much of anything particular on your schedule. You have my sympathies.

The four candidates are competing for the votes of the less than 10 percent of registered voters who typically vote in Texas primaries.

Not so sure about 10 percent being “typical” here. Yes, in 2004, when he ran unopposed in the GOP primary, DeLay got 15,000 votes, compared to 150,000 in the general. But in 2002 and 2000, when he faced Fjetland, the percentages were higher. There were 28,000 votes cast in the 2002 primary, and 100,000 for DeLay in the general. In 2000, 50,000 votes were cast in the primary, while DeLay got 154,000 in the general. If those patterns hold, I’d expect 25,000 to 35,000 votes cast, assuming non-Presidential-year turnout and GOP support for the general.

As for DeLay’s optimism, you may recall the recent survey that Tom Campbell was touting that showed him with a nine-point lead, in which I expressed some skepticism. I’ve since spoken to Dan Kent of OneNet, who took the poll in question. He said he did it on his own, not on behalf of any campaign, and he said he only phoned people who had voted in either the 2002 or 2004 GOP primary or both. He generously provided me with the phone script (Word doc) and full poll data (Excel spreadsheet), which you can see for yourself. It took me a minute to figure out that Question 2 is referring to the electability of Tom Campbell, and that the corresponding values for Question 3 are how many of each of those people voted for or intend to vote for Campbell. Basically, everybody who gave a 1 or 2 for Campbell’s electability (scale of 1 to 5, 1 = most electable, 5 = least electable) voted for him. Make of all that what you will. My thanks to Dan Kent for providing the data.

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2 Comments

  1. Fred says:

    Kuff, I could not get the full data file to open. great post by the way.

  2. Oops, bad URL on the XLS file. Fixed now. Thanks for pointing it out!