Good news and bad news

Via Greg, I see that Chet Edwards has picked up a couple of nice endorsements, one from the Star Telegram, the other from a self-identified Republican columnist for Texas A&M’s The Battalion. I’ll echo Greg’s comments about why the latter makes a better case for Edwards, and I’d like to highlight this little bit:

Arlene Wohlgemuth is Edwards’ latest contender. Although she served five terms as a Texas state legislator, her only real claim to fame is preventing tax increases by cutting funding to health care programs like the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP), which provides health insurance to children in low-income families. While Wohlgemuth totes that she saved taxpayers more than $1 billion, it actually caused a $500 million loss. According to the Houston Chronicle, “As a result of the CHIP cuts, Texas is turning away $500 million in federal matching funds.”

Unfortunately, Wohlgemuth has nothing else to run on except for being a member of the Republican Party. Her yard signs bear the message “Bush, Cheney, Wohlgemuth.” Clinging to the reputations of more popular politicians seems to be her best election strategy.

I think that’s exactly right. I remember campaign signs in 2000 for Phil Sudan, running against Ken Bentsen in the old CD25 that read “Bush – Hutchison – Sudan”. I mean, what other reason did you need to vote for the guy? Bentsen stomped him by 22 points, by the way.

And according to this poll just released by the Edwards campaign, Wohlgemuth may be on the way to the same kind of defeat.

Congressman Chet Edwards leads Arlene Wohlgemuth by a commanding 10-point margin in the race for Texas Congressional District 17, according to a poll of 450 likely voters conducted October 11-13 by the respected Washington, DC polling firm of Bennett, Petts and Blumenthal. The poll shows Edwards leading Wohlgenuth 50% – 40% and has a margin of error of plus or minus 4.9%.

“With less than three weeks to go until the election, Congressman Edwards is well-positioned to win re-election,” said Edwards pollster Anna Bennett. “Our polling over the last several months has seen a steady increase in Edwards’ support, while Arlene Wohlgemuth has actually lost ground.”

Bennett noted that voters are responding favorably to Edwards’ message of independence and putting his district above party politics. Edwards’ strong support for the military and national leadership on homeland security have helped cement his lead in the race, she said. At the same time, Wohlgemuth’s attacks on Edwards do not appear to be working, Bennett said.

Good news for Edwards no matter how you slice it, especially with him being at 50%. I love this bit at the end, too:

Today, Edwards was endorsed by three Johnson County mayors, including the mayors of Cleburne and Burleson, Wohlgemuth’s hometown.

That’s gotta sting. Let’s see now…Lloyd Doggett is a shoe-in, Edwards is in great shape, and Martin Frost is running close. We’re pretty close to laying a trifecta on Jim Ellis’ sorry indicted behind. Do feel free to push Edwards and Frost a little closer to victory.

Unfortunately, as the title indicates, the news isn’t all good. Charlie Stenholm appears to be in deep trouble.

According to the new poll by students at Texas Tech, 53.5 percent of respondents favor Neugebauer and 23.3 percent favor Stenholm. The poll, which the university released late Monday, has a margin of error of plus or minus 5.2 percentage points.

Neugebauer’s campaign isn’t claiming victory just yet, however.

“We’re very encouraged by the numbers, and our own polls show Neugebauer ahead,” said spokesman Matt Schaefer. “But having said that, we know that we have to keep working and campaigning until Nov. 2.”

A spokeswoman for Stenholm questioned the poll’s accuracy.

“This may be fine as a training exercise, but it does not meet the standards of professional research,” Jodi Zweifler said.

The numbers, however, closely mirror earlier findings by the Scripps Research Center showing Neugebauer with support from 52 percent of voters, and Stenholm with support from 29 percent.

I have a hard time believing Stenholm’s level of support is that low, but this district is very Republican, and Stenholm’s hometown of Abilene is not in it. I have a very bad feeling about this one.

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6 Responses to Good news and bad news

  1. Kent says:

    Great news about Chet Edwards. I hadn’t heard about the recent poll but then I don’t subscribe to the Waco Tribune so I don’t get much local news. He’s the only candidate that my wife and I decided to donate to this year seeing how he’s our local Congressman, and keeping Bush’s home district in Democratic hands would just be too sweet.

    From what I’ve been able to discern, Wohlgemuth is not playing well at all here in McLennan County. Lake Waco water quality is a fairly big local issue and she is perceived as obstructing necessary improvements to Waco’s source of drinking water. But I really don’t know anything about the other areas of the district. Edwards has been running some fairly hard-hitting ads on local Waco TV. Really taking it to Wohlgemuth on the CHIPs thing. And I haven’t seen much response from Wohlgemuth. I think Edwards is in a great position financially to hold on and run this one out. Especially if Kerry holds onto his momentum.

  2. Conshieguy says:

    How about Nick Lampson, who I believe was another one of the “Texas 5”. How are his numbers looking?

  3. Conshieguy says:

    Oh – and Sandlin – he’s the other one. How are Lampson and Sandlin faring? (I’m out here in PA, but I’ve donated to all 5 within my limited means.)

  4. Kent says:

    To follow-up on my Edwards post. My wife is a doctor who works at both Hillcrest and Providence hospitals in Waco. She says the ICU staff have been having a lot of long political discussions lately and that almost to a person all the doctors, nurses, and aids are Republican Bush supporters. However, every one of them also intends to vote for Chet Edwards.

    So judging from that very small subsample, Edwards is going to get a lot of Republican crossover votes in the Waco area. He’s definitely seen as the local hometown boy and is well liked here. People here see Wohlgemuth as a carpetbagger from Fort Worth and don’t appear to have any interest. Given that the largest portion of Dist. 17 is from Waco I think that bodes well for Edwards. I think the Republicans blew it with this bit of redistricting. They would have been better off to nominate a Waco Republican to run against Edwards I think.

  5. Conshieguy – I’ve not seen any polling in the Lampson/Poe race. Both Sandlin and Gohmert have touted polls recently which show them in the lead. So it’s hard to say.

  6. Good Poll, Bad Poll

    Good news for Chet Edwards, bad news for Charlie Stenholm in polling over the past two days. This poll for Chet Edwards is out today: A Bennett, Petts and Blumenthal (D) poll; conducted 10/11-13 for Rep. Chet Edwards (D); surveyed…

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