I realize that there are still votes being counted and whatnot, but I find this to be strange. Compare the Secretary of State numbers for Williamson County to the Williamson County Clerk numbers. There’s about a 6000 vote difference in the two totals, with the SOS having higher numbers. Given that there were about 84,000 votes cast (or 90,000, if you believe the SOS), that’s a pretty big chunk. For comparison purposes, the Harris County Clerk and the SOS differ by about 1000 votes, out of over 500K cast. That I can understand. The WillCo difference is harder to comprehend. Any suggestions?
Eye on Williamson pointed this out to me. Note that if the WillCo Clerk numbers are accurate, then incumbent State Rep. Mike Krusee in HD52 got less than 50% of the vote total. (He barely exceeds it if the SOS is right.) Paul Burka noted this as well, saying that “A well financed campaign that hammered [Krusee] for his support of toll roads might have taken him out. And yet, Democrats completely ignored Karen Felthauser. She raised barely $15,000 for the entire campaign.” True, though it should be noted that Burka didn’t exactly have this one on his radar, either. I called that race a sleeper before it was cool.
I also think there will still be an opportunity in HD52 in 2008. The district wasn’t that strongly Republican in 2004, and Williamson County overall is slowly turning purple. In 2002, John Sharp had the high score for Democrats at 39.74%, with Kirk Watson at 38.44%. Ron Kirk and Margaret Mirabal were between 35 and 36%, and all other Dems scored less than 32%, including seven who were below 30%. In 2006, there were six scores in the 36-39 range, with nothing outside the four-way Governor’s race below 30. There’s even two direct comparisons:
Bill Moody, 2002 – 32.13% (in a two-way race)
Bill Moody, 2006 – 39.30% (in a three-way race)
JR Molina, 2002 – 27.65% (in a three-way race)
JR Molina, 2006 – 38.70% (in a two-way race)
I’d call that a positive trend. Still a ways to go, of course, but at least it’s in the right direction.
And for the HD52 race, Mike Krusee won 64.55% of the vote in 2002. It’s possible that toll roads were a one-time-only issue, but I doubt it. Even if they were, that’s a lot of support to lose in four years. He needs to be a top target in 2008.