The Lone Star Project has an interesting analysis of the Governor’s race, in which its basic thesis is that Chris Bell really does have a clearer path to a win than Carole Keeton Strayhorn. Not an easy path, mind you, but a clearer one. I’ll defer any deep thoughts on this for now, but here are a couple of quick comments:
1. I think the Democratic base vote is higher than what they use in their model. George Bush was the top votegetter just about everywhere for the Republicans, and John Kerry trailed all Democrats most places. I’d go with something between David Van Os’ 41% and JR Molina’s 42%. Not that it makes that much difference, and if there’s a winning scenario with this harsher environment that’s even more encouraging, I just think that’s overly pessimistic.
2. The LSP projection is largely in agreement with this Fox 7 Austin analysis (video link) that suggests a 35-35 photo finish between Bell and Perry and also suggests Strayhorn has a tougher row to hoe than is currently being suggested. (Screen cap from the video here.)
3. We don’t have any post-primary polling yet; what we had from February was two contradictory results, one from Rasmussen that suggested Strayhorn was already in a tight race with Perry, and one from the Dallas Morning News that had Strayhorn trailing Bell. I still think that Rasmussen has been oversampling Republicans, and if I were to guess, I’d say the real picture now is more like the DMN poll. As I say, though, that’s just my guess.
4. However you slice it, this just reinforces my belief that the prominent Dems who have been backing Strayhorn so far are running away from a winnable race. If we enter October with multiple polls showing Strayhorn and Perry neck and neck with Bell a distant third, then I can understand a tactical switch. Doing so now is craven and shortsighted.
More later. Read their piece and see what you think of it.