Big bucks in Texas range war


The battle for the governorship of Texas hasn’t been much of one since a political novice by the name of George W. Bush ousted Anne Richards (D) way back in 1994. All you had to do was be the Republican on the ballot come November. But the situation is much more complicated this time around.

Kay Bailey Hutchison (R-TX) is kissing her leadership position in the Senate good-bye in an effort to be the aforementioned Republican, but she will have to get past incumbent Rick Perry (R-TX) to do so.

And he isn’t budging.

Perry said he’s seen the polls that show that predict a close intramural primary race, and told reporters that he also does not tend to believe polls. He also said he doesn’t see why Hutchison would abandon all the political capital she has built in the Capitol – among them her status as ranking member of the Senate Committee on Commerce, Transportation and Science, following in the footsteps of a legendary John McCain (R-AZ) and a tarnished legend Ted Stevens (R-AK).

A Rasmussen Poll taken last week gives Hutchison a narrow 2% lead, and the lead is even softer than it appears. She pulled 40% of among Republican voters to Perry’s 38%. A tea-party activist in the race received 3% — and the soft spot is made up of the 19% who are undecided.

How much would a hotly contested Republican primary in a large state like Texas cost? There are a lot of media markets to cover, including top tens like Dallas-Fort Worth and Houston. Add in San Antonio, Austin, El Paso, Corpus Christi, Beaumont-Port Arthur, Tyler-Longview, Waco, Amarillo, Abilene, McAllen-Brownsville, Odessa-Midland, Sherman TX-Ada OK, Texarkana, Bryan-College Station, Lufkin-Nacogdoches, San Angelo, Lubbock, Laredo and Wichita Falls (sorry if we missed anyone) and a statewide candidate’s media department has its hands full.

Perry estimated $50M.

RBR-TVBR observation: Perry may hope that Hutchison calls the whole thing off, but we doubt that will happen. She no doubt has polled this from every possible angle and we doubt she’d give up her sure thing in Washington unless she has strong reason to believe she will prevail over Perry.

Broadcasters who are members of the Republican Party will be free to take sides just like every other enfranchised American voter – while at the same time raking in the advertising cash from both.