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The fate of the city propositions

This Chron story could easily have been headlined “A bunch of people take wild guesses about what will happen to the city ballot propositions”.

Political analysts say the fate of the three propositions may be tied together for some Houstonians who could paint any or all of them with a broad brush of anti-government sentiment.

“You could see people just voting no, no, no,” said Mark Jones, chair of the Rice University Political Science Department. “Some could see Proposition 1 as a tax increase, Proposition 2 as a means to help out incumbent politicians and Proposition 3 a way to keep these devices that give more money to the government. ”

Officials with the various campaigns representing the propositions acknowledged that the political headwinds may lead some voters to cast their ballots in lockstep on the three questions. But they expressed confidence that their campaign work has been enough to break through any tendency voters may have to say no to everything.

“Like it or not, voters go to the polls and if they’re happy with the direction the city is going in, they vote for all of them,” said Chris Begala, a spokesman for Keep Houston Safe, a political action committee advocating for Proposition 3. “But if they reach the bottom of the ballot and they’re upset, they vote no. I always defer to the individual voter. They always make good choices, and they will make up their mind individually on all three propositions.”

The consensus among the wild guessers analysts is that Prop 1 has a tough row to hoe because it has attracted opposition from a number of different groups; Prop 2 may have a hard time because nobody knows anything about it; and Prop 3 is in the strongest position because it’s being pushed by emergency responders and hospitals, and because its opposition isn’t well-funded. My wild guesses are that I tend to agree with the view of Props 1 and 3, but I think Prop 2’s chances are better than that on the grounds that people vote for scads of constitutional amendments they know nothing about every other year. When was the last time one of those was voted down? But like I said, it’s just a guess. We’ll know soon enough.

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