I know I’ve said that there’s little variation across the county in candidate performances (the races in which Republicans won excepted, of course), but there is at least one glaring example I can come up with: Rep. Gene Green in CD29. Here’s how his percentages stack up:
Candidate Votes Pct ============================== Green 79,543 75.76 Garcia 76,925 72.50 Noriega 71,886 68.64 State D 69,754 68.23 Appeals D 69,230 67.26 Judicial D 68,796 67.08 Obama 66,576 62.02
“State D” is the average total of the six statewide candidates other than Rick Noriega; “Appeals D” is the average total of the six candidates for an appeals court bench; “Judicial D” is the average total of the 27 candidates for a Harris County bench. Gene Green is the first Democrat I’ve come across who outperformed Adrian Garcia in any subset of Harris County. That’s mighty impressive. He also garnered more votes (53,149 to 48,188) than Sen. Mario Gallegos in their shared precincts, giving him 77.10% to Gallegos’ 71.48%. Note that I’m still working with the draft canvass data, so I’m going to be off by a handful of tallies here and there. But it’s close enough for these purposes.
The spread between Green and Obama is remarkable, but not surprising given that Green’s district covers the five State Rep districts in which Obama lagged the rest of the ticket. What this says to me is that Green appealed equally well to all different types of voters in his district, including presuably some who mostly if not exclusively voted Republican otherwise. You just have to salute that.
Now, I didn’t actually set out to do an analysis of CD29, since that hadn’t looked to me to be a particularly interesting subset of the county. I stumbled across this remarkable achievement by Rep. Green while I was taking a look at HD144, where Democrat Joel Redmond suffered a close loss to Republican Ken Legler for that open seat. HD144 is about 80% in CD22, and about 20% in CD29. Here’s how Redmond stacked up against other Democrats in each of those parts of the district:
CD22 Candidate Votes Pct ========================== Garcia 15,595 49.65 Redmond 15,208 48.37 Lampson 14,527 46.97 Noriega 13,866 44.42 State D 13,397 44.23 Appeals D 13,348 43.72 Judicial D 13,091 43.08 Obama 12,897 40.14 CD29 Candidate Votes Pct ========================== Green 4,217 56.51 Garcia 4,044 53.36 Redmond 3,838 50.79 State D 3,542 48.59 Appeals D 3,550 48.11 Noriega 3,569 47.64 Judicial D 3,473 47.24 Obama 3,270 42.51
Redmond did about as well as you could want, but fell just short. For what it’s worth, if he’d done exactly as well as Gene Green in the CD29 portion of the district, he’d still have fallen short, by less than 100 votes. I suspect we’d be knee-deep in a recount by now if that were the case. In any event, the disparity between Gene Green and everyone who shared the ballot with him just fascinates me. If I had a magic wand to wave, I would use it to commission a study of the voters in CD29 to try to get a better understanding of who these “Gene Green Republicans” are and what (if anything) could be done to get them to vote for a few more Democrats. This isn’t a turnout issue – I hope I have sufficiently flogged the point that we did just fine on this score – it’s a persuasion issue, and in this case I daresay a couple of judges and perhaps the DAs office hung on it. Let’s not overlook potential avenues for improvement there.