March 10, 2006

Steve Stockman

The most interesting event over the next month or so (besides any DeLay legal developments) will be whether former Rep. Steve Stockman tries to get on the ballot.

If you happen to see or be approached by a Stockman petition gatherer, then I'd love to hear about it. Details would be great, but also great would be just the notification that Stockman is signature gathering. Anonymity is assured, if you desire.

March 08, 2006

Post-primary thoughts on DeLay vs. Lampson

1. It seems that people's views of whether 62% is good or bad for DeLay are mostly determined by their knee-jerk partisan reaction.

2. At the beginning of this blog, I said that, "Tom DeLay won't lose this primary unless local activists and party leaders start abandoning him." I was right. My immediate pre-election prediction was DeLay 55%, Campbell 30%, Baig 10%, and Fjetland 5%. I was way off on Baig (who got less than 3.5%) and there's no excuse for that. Otherwise, I think it was a reasonable prediction.

3. 62% is actually pretty good for DeLay. 20% of the GOP primary would probably vote for anybody-but-DeLay (that is, 20% voted for Fjetland in 2002). That 20% is presumably turned off by DeLay's style: blunt, no-compromises conservatism.

To only lose an addition 18% when under indictment is pretty good. While I was always skeptical of the idea that DeLay would lose this primary, I assumed that DeLay was looking at 50% of the vote at minimum and 60% of the vote at maximum. So I would view 62% as fairly impressive.

4. While 62% is pretty decent, I don't think much has changed from any of my previous analyses of DeLay vs. Lampson: it depends on legal issues. Presumably the Ronnie Earle/TRMPAC indictment will be cleared up by then. If it's a guilty verdict, it's hard to see DeLay winning re-election. If it's not guilty, then I think DeLay will win.

There's also the Abramoff matter. Most people would view a Department of Justice indictment in a different manner than Ronnie Earle's indictment. Abramoff clearly has incentive to implicate officeholders, whether true or not. Folks in DC are buzzing, but there hasn't been any indictments of anyone yet. Conventional wisdom would be that a certain Congressman in Ohio will definitely be the first to be indicted, if anyone is.

I would assume that the timeline for a Department of Justice indictment would have to come in the next few months. Once you start getting towards election time, prosecutors usually become wary of issuing indictments out of fear that it will look political.

My sense is that Abramoff hasn't hit home in the district as an issue. If there's an indictment, it will. If there isn't an indictment, it won't be a factor that tips the race. It'll be good for a few attack ads from left-wing third party groups, but that's about it.

5. I don't see why CQ changed their prediction from "Leans Republican" to "No Clear Favorite" based on the primary results. If I were using CQ's rankings system, I would have ranked this race as "Leans Republican" and it would still be ranked "Leans Republican."

New CQ rating: no clear favorite

CQ has changed its CD22 rating from "Leans Republican" to "No Clear Favorite."

Final primary results

Here are the more or less final GOP primary results:

Pat Baig 1,115 3.36%

Tom Campbell 9,937 29.97%

Tom DeLay 20,558 62.00%

Mike Fjetland 1,550 4.67%

March 07, 2006

DeLay vs. Lampson -- DeLay's statement

Here's Tom DeLay's statement on tonight:

"I have always placed my faith in the voters, and today's vote shows they have placed their full faith in me. This race was about who can effectively represent the values and the priorities of the people in this district, and I'm proud to have earned, and overwhelmingly kept, that trust among Republican voters. Not only did they reject the politics of personal destruction, but they strongly rejected the candidates who used those Democrat tactics as their platform.

"Our volunteers and grassroots activists are just incredible and they worked diligently in neighborhoods around this district. I'm honored to have them stand with me as we prepare to defend this district from the funding and activism of America's most radical Democrats.

"Liberal activists like Barbra Streisand, George Soros, and Nancy Pelosi all have a dog in this fight, and his name is Nick Lampson.

"Over the next eight months, Lampson and his national Democrat allies will continue to lie to the voters about his liberal record, attempt to take credit for Republican ideas, and use innuendo to attack my integrity. During that time my focus will remain on effectively representing the 22nd District in Congress by providing support to our troops who are fighting and winning the war on terror, securing funds to improve transportation and bolster NASA, and protecting our family values. The choice couldn't be more clear.

"Democrat attacks and the politics of personal destruction were heavily used by my opponents in this Republican primary, and they were rejected just like they will be in November. Now we need to focus on the real contest at hand -- the battle between Republicans and liberal Democrats, between myself and Nick Lampson. This election will determine who makes the decisions about continuing our fight against terrorists around the world, securing our borders, reforming our tax code, and protecting our values. I'm the only candidate who has faithfully stood up for these conservative priorities, and I am asking for Republican voters to stand with me as we defend this district from the dangerous and irresponsible representation of Nick Lampson."

I've been having trouble getting on Lampson's press release list despite a few attempts, but if I can obtain Lampson's statement, I'll print it.

UPDATE: Here's Lampson's statement, via Kuffner:
Welcome to my Texas uprising!

Tonight is the first big step toward a big change in November. The departure of Mr. DeLay has been delayed long enough.

Tonight, I called Pat Baig, Mike Fjetland, and Tom Campbell to congratulate them on their campaigns. It takes courage to put your name on the ballot against Tom DeLay in a Republican Primary and I wanted them to know they have my respect.

And I want their supporters tonight to know that I am here humbly asking for their votes. I am willing to earn these votes.

These candidates and their supporters recognized a need for change and had the courage to stand up to Tom DeLay. I hope they will join me as we fight our way to November.

Now, let me get to the heart of the matter. Right now in Washington, we're seeing scandal after scandal, the deficit's out of control, jobs are going overseas, and the special interests are running the show.

And you know who's at the center of all of it?

Tom DeLay.

Here's why I'm running for Congress.

First of all, I believe in a balanced budget. I believe you have to make choices and sacrifices. But choosing favors for lobbyists over results for Texas is not the kind of sacrifice I have in mind.

When I was in Congress, I voted to reduce the deficit, lower the national debt, and to set priorities like strengthening Social Security, homeland security, and our public schools.

Meanwhile, Tom DeLay was voting to increase the deficit, raise the debt ceiling, gut education, weaken port security, and privatize Social Security.

We had a clear difference of opinion then . and we still do now.

I believe in national security and homeland security. In particular, I'm not new to this whole issue of protecting our ports from terrorism.

When I was in Congress, I fought to pass legislation that would have increased funding for port security and increased the number of containers that are checked for biological and chemical weapons.

I voted yes. Tom DeLay voted no.

We had a clear difference of opinion then . and we still do now.

I believe in standing up for American jobs. It's time we had a representative who chooses Texas families over multi-national corporations.

We need to stop passing tax breaks for companies shipping jobs overseas. Instead, we should focus tax breaks on working families and small businesses like Cliff's Old Fashion Grill so we can create jobs and improve our economy.

On helping our working families and small businesses, I voted yes. Tom DeLay voted no.

We had a clear difference of opinion then . and we still do now.

And finally, I believe in telling the truth and accepting responsibility. But let's look at just the past few months in Washington .

The Jack Abramoff Lobbyist Scandal. The Hurricane Response Scandal. The Port Deal Scandal. And members of Congress either under indictment or being sent to prison.

It's time to send a message to Washington -- you couldn't clean up your act, so we're gonna to do it for you.

Here's what you will never hear about Nick Lampson when I'm in Congress.

You'll never hear that I sold out my fellow Texans to a Washington lobbyist.

You'll never hear that I used the IRS or the Department of Homeland Security to get revenge on people who disagreed with me.

And you'll never hear that I took money from a charity and used it for politics.

Tom DeLay gets headlines for all the wrong reasons. Well, I'm looking forward to that headline on November 8th . No Further DeLay.

When it comes to standing up for Texas families, I say this . No more delays.

Balancing the budget and returning to fiscal responsibility? No more delays.

Creating American jobs? No more delays.

Securing our ports? No more delays.

Cleaning up Washington? No more delays.

Strengthening Social Security? No more delays.

Fixing the Medicare drug benefit? No more delays.

And finishing the job in Iraq with honor and so we can bring our troops home? No more delays.

I'm honored to be your nominee . and no matter what Tom DeLay says in the weeks and months ahead, just know this .

I've got thick skin and hard hands. I'm as independent as Texas and as strong-willed as the Gulf Coast.

I'll work my hardest and I'll never let you down.

Thank you, God bless you, and God bless the Lone Star State.

Primary Results

Results tonight: GOP, Dem

In case you are a true junkie, here are the results for each county in the district:
Brazoria Dem, GOP
Fort Bend Dem, GOP
Galveston (to come, the direct links are not live yet, but they will be here)
Harris Dem, GOP

EDIT: Timestamp updated to move to top of the page.

UPDATE: DeLay 60%, Baig 5%, Fetland 7%, and Campbell 29% in early voting for Fort Bend. This probably augurs well for DeLay.

UPDATE 2: DeLay 80%, Campbell 16% in Harris County. However, turnout was 2 times heavier in Fort Bend, so DeLay's lead is probably around 65% right now. Early returns seem to indicate that DeLay has outperformed expectations though.

UPDATE 3: So far, the election day results are pretty close to early voting, with DeLay maybe a point or two behind early voting results.

UPDATE 4: With 190 of 216 precincts reporting, DeLay has 62%, Campbell has 30%, Fjetland has 5%, and Baig has 3%.


The early voting numbers are about to come in, and I'm about to head out to make it to my precinct convention. That unfortunately means that I'll be away from my computer for a bit. Darn!

Predictions are a difficult thing; generally, the smaller the race, the harder. I haven't seen any poll data that I'd feel comfortable relying on this race, so it's solely on intuition.

With that said, my guess is that DeLay will win tonight with somewhere around 55% of the vote. Given that Mike Fjetland took 20% of the vote against DeLay in 2002, I would assume that the combination of indictment and a credible challenger will at least double that vote. Add a few anti-DeLay points for Democrats voting in the primary (yes, I do think it is probably worth a few points), and that's where I come up with 55%.

So my guess would be something like DeLay 55%, Campbell 30%, Baig 10%, and Fjetland 5%. But who knows? I could be terribly wrong, and not living in the district doesn't help provide any anecdotal evidence.

UPDATE: Very, very quick recap of what I missed blogging about over the last week due to time constraints.

Campbell was endorsed by the Houston Chronicle and the Fort Bend Star. Neither is a surprise at all (I believe DeLay did not show for the Chronicle editorial board), but certainly helped solidify his stake as the credible non-DeLay candidate.

DeLay spent the morning in the district, before flying to DC this afternoon for votes. According to the Chron, he'll spend election night with former GOP Congressmen and now-lobbyists Bill Paxon and Susan Molinari at a fundraiser. Meanwhile, some filmmakers release a film about Texas redistricting today.

Edit: Fixed numbers to make them add up to 100%.

March 06, 2006

Busy; tomorrow

Since tomorrow is primary, I'll be posting.

Just an FYI.