The Campaign Spot

Expect Texas’s Gubernatorial Race to Get Nationalized, Fast

The Democratic Governors Association contends that Texas governor Rick Perry is in trouble . . . even though he just won a three-way primary with more than 50 percent of the vote, up against the state’s other best-known Republican.

Eh.

Hutchison had a ready-made theme – after ten years, isn’t it time for a change? – and was positioned to be the moderate who had a long history of accomplishments for the state. If this was a year when Perry’s brand of conservatism was going to sour, one would think it would be easier to keep him below 50 in a three-way race. And she got 30 percent. Put another way, Hutchison was only 11 percent above the Truther.

Perry immediately cast himself as a voice against Washington:

“From Driftwood, Texas, to Washington, D.C., we are sending you a message: Stop messing with Texas,” Perry said to cheers He painted his victory in national terms. “Conservatism has never been stronger than it is today. And we’re taking our country back, one vote at a time, one election at a time,” he said.

Why would he be taking that tack? Well, Obama’s approval rating is below 20 percent with Texas independents. It’s actually only at 75 percent among Texas Democrats. Somehow, I suspect Perry will be doing everything he can to tie Democratic nominee Bill White to Obama; White’s chance at victory may lie in how effectively he can argue that he’s nothing like that guy in the White House.