Bonus electoral battle in Texas


RepublicanNobody expects the Democratic Party to have a real good shot at snagging the seat in the US Senate being vacated by Kay Bailey Hutchison (R-TX). But a significant battle for the seat has been added to the 2012 electoral calendar.

The battle will be for the honor of representing the Republican Party in the general election in November.

The favorite in the recently-held Republican primary – current Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst – did win the contest. But he fell about 5% short of the 50% threshold in the popular vote, setting up a run-off with the #2 Republican in the race.

That is a Tea Party standard-bearer named Ted Cruz, the one-time Solicitor General for the state. Cruz picked up 34% of the vote, easily taking 2nd to Dewhurst’s 45%, and will be the other half of the two-candidate run-off on the calendar for 7/31/12.

According to a Politico article, Cruz has some high-profile backing, including individuals such as Sen. Jim DeMint (R-SC), presidential derby contestant Rick Santorum and former VP candidate Sarah Palin. PACs such as Club for Growth are also in his corner.

RBR-TVBR observation: With tons of money expected to be spent this year, and with a likely lull in the action when the contest is held, there is a very good chance that some national PACs will be inclined to toss some money into this contest

Besides being one of if not the only game in town for PACs, the fact that this is a special election could inspire a significant amount of spending. Turnout for such events is notoriously difficult to predict, other than it is highly likely to be lower than for a regularly scheduled election.

Therefore, a well-funded effort to get just the right voters to the polls could pay off in a major upset, leading to an equally well-funded effort to prevent an upset from happening. Stay tuned.