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I’ve had worse days, but not by much

So as I write this, it looks like the optimistic projections for the Republicans weren’t optimistic enough. Big wins for them in the state, in Harris County, and in the Legislature, where a circa-2003 partisan mix looks like a good result for the Democrats. I don’t care to stay up till the bitter end tonight – more than two hours after the poll closed, we still don’t have any Election Day numbers in Harris County – but it’s clear already that a lot of voters who had split tickets in the past did not do so this time around. It’s just a question of how great the carnage is.

It’s too early to say what the worst result from my perspective will be, but if it stands the loss of County Commissioner Sylvia Garcia will be up there. I’m sure County Judge Ed Emmett will enjoy working with his new colleague on those mental health care problems he’s been writing about.

Somewhat weirdly, the national picture isn’t looking that bad for the Dems. The House is a lost cause, and the toll could well be worse than it was in 1994, but the Senate is looking surprisingly good, at least at this point. That could change by morning, but several races that were close or even considered out of reach are breaking their way.

I’ll have plenty more to say later, when all of the pieces are in place. For now, all I want to say is Good Night.

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6 Comments

  1. Cb says:

    How is it Dallas stays blue and not Harris County?

  2. JJ says:

    Harris County is red. Obama won and drug other Dems (all those judges) along in Harris County in 08 because of unprecedented straight party ticket voting by certain types of people who don’t usually care enough to vote. I’d say blacks and young people (white). Plus independents were tired of Republicans because Bush was a bozo and McCain had bozo Palin along. (But when a Dem was a bozo – like Clarence Bradford – the Rep won, because even pro-Obama and anti Bush/Palin votes couldn’t help him.). I like Bill White and voted for him, but he didn’t have Obama’s appeal.

  3. Mark Covington says:

    Fear has triumphed over sanity in Texas and Harris county.

  4. namsmog says:

    Well, I think we’ve seen the power of straight ticket voting (again), something that is stupid and enormously destructive; dumb and ignorant people use this ballot device; but, betcha no elected officials will seek to end this travesty

  5. JJMB says:

    No wonder Democrats can’t win around here. They condescend to the voters, dismissing any loss as “fear” or “anger” or “didn’t understand the issues.” Bill White won in Harris County, the Prop 1 tax (yes, it’s a tax) won in Houston. Prop 1 had to overcome the strong opposition of all four African-American councilmembers AND churches AND Paul Bettencourt right wingers. And it had to overcome serious losses by Prop 2 and Prop 3 — people were NOT inclined to vote for Prop 1. (I still don’t really understand what all came together for that to happen.) Bill White overcame all the straight party Rep voters. Sarah Davis overcame Ellen Cohen’s $750,000 campaign with her puny $150,000. But Ellen Cohen made the race very close even though her district went for McCain over Obama just two years ago. There aren’t a lot of exceptions to what happened last night, but there are enough to show that Mark’s “spin” isn’t helpful.

    Sure all the the judges went R, but that’s because it makes no sense to elect judges and they just get swept along. Perhaps if there weren’t an extra, useless, waste of time, 200 additional races, then maybe Loren Jackson might have stayed in as County Clerk, or someone else might have been a good enough D to stand out. But there is too much of a crowd.

    I remember some D bloggers — maybe Kuff was one? (don’t remember) — who were saying in 2008 “forget those Rs who want to appoint judges, now that we are taking over, we want to keep electing them.” My advice is for the dumbass Dems who said that to get together with Reps and get the judges off the ballot. Aside from the question of whether we should elect them or not, they clearly clutter up the ballot and prevent votes from having a reasonable number of things to consider. I wonder if Sylvia Garcia wasn’t mostly a victim of just getting lost on the ballot.

  6. JJ – What I said was that I didn’t recall hearing any concern from those who were advocating the elimination of partisan judicial elections back when Republicans were winning them. If John Cornyn, who was one of those advocates after the 2008 election, continues to push the concept in the aftermath of this election, I’ll reconsider my position. My point was simply that I didn’t trust their motives.

    I will also say that while there’s plenty to criticize about the concept of electing judges, I have never believed that you can truly take the politics out of the process. One alternative that some people like to put forth as an alternative – Cornyn among them – is appointments with retention elections. Among other things we learned on Tuesday, retention elections can be fully politicized as well.

    I accept the fact that waves like this can go against you just as they can go for you. I remember 1994, believe me. I believe the alternatives that have been proposed to partisan judicial elections do not really solve the problems they claim they do, and as such I prefer the system that we have, warts and all.

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