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Ticket splitters

For better or worse, we live in a polarized world. Often, knowing a candidate’s political party tells you most of what you need to know in a general election. But definitely not always, and this year in particular there are plenty of examples of candidates who aren’t worthy of the support of their partisan brethren (and sistren, as Molly Ivins used to say) as well as a few who for a variety of reasons are able to transcend political barriers. I feel like this year I’ve seen more mixed-company yard signs than I have in years past. Here are a few examples:

My guess is that this homeowner is a Democrat who is also supporting incumbent District Civil Court Judge Tad Halbach, who has a reputation for being one of the better inhabitants of the judiciary.

My initial suspicion was that this was a Republican who prefers Vince Ryan and Adrian Garcia for Harris County. I drove by this location yesterday and there was another sign touting a GOP judicial candidate whose name I have forgotten, so that makes me a little more certain in that assumption.

This one’s a little hard to see – it was late afternoon, I was facing west, and any closer would have put me directly in the sunlight. Anyway, the red sign is for Vince Ryan, and the other one is for GOP judicial candidate Elizabeth Ray.

Greg sent me that one. Probably a Republican crossing over for Gene Wu if I had to guess, but Greg could say for sure.

Another one that could go either way, but as that house in the background is actually a law office, I suspect the sign-placer just likes incumbent judges.

I feel quite confident saying that the person who put out these signs is a Republican, crossing over to vote for Ann Johnson and the HISD bonds. (As well he or she should.) The Halloween decoration nearby is a nice touch.

So there you have it. I don’t have any broad point to make, I just noticed these signs around and thought it would be fun putting something together on them. I have a Flickr set for these pics, so if you find any more examples, send them to me via email or post them on the Off The Kuff Facebook page and I’ll add them in.

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5 Comments

  1. PDiddie says:

    I’m surprised at how many non-STD voters I am finding. (I still think there are too many, FWIW.) For one thing, a straight-ticket-Democratic ballot skips races where Democrats have no candidate, among them one SCOTX place and one Railroad Commission race. It also picks up Lloyd Oliver and Elaine Palmer (unless the voter deselects them manually, of course).

    That’s not as hideous as an STR that includes Louis Guthrie and John Devine… but it’s close.

  2. Greg Wythe says:

    Anglo Dems are much less likely to be non-straight ticket voters than African American voters. And slightly less than Hispanic voters. But the wealthier the Anglo Dem, the less likely they are to be a straight ticket voter. That makes HD134 the central hub of ticket splitters. The Anglo Dem precincts even went Republican in 1994, though I haven’t done any work looking into the 2010 results there.

  3. Bill K says:

    There are a number of solid Republicans in my neighborhood, even Tea Party types, that are strong Al Rosen supporters. I remenber that when I was voting in the primary that a comment was made by a Democratic Poll Judge that a number of Republicans were voting in the Democratic primary specifically to vote for Rosen.

  4. Marlene says:

    It’s actually reassuring to see people weighing their choices for county officials separately from the office of the President, especially with regards the Sheriff and County Attorney. This business is far to serious to blindly tick a party box on the ballot.

  5. WS says:

    I hate the straight ticket option, and this year I feel very strongly that if you check the box for straight ticket you are revealing yourself to be an uninformed voter. I say this because if you vote Straight Republican you’re voting for Sharon “The Killer” Keller, and if you vote Straight Democrat you’re voting for Lloyd “Beating Your Wife is Foreplay” Oliver. Even if you are a pretty committed partisan on a ballot as long as Texas’s there is always room for crossover. I’m a Republican believe that attempts to actively create economic outcomes are counterproductive, but I’m a hardcore D voter for SBOE because I don’t want creationism in the schools. You can also throw party out for most judges and clerical positions, since the nature of the job isn’t political or policymaking.

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