The Jeffersonian: Politicks, Sports, and Culture

Friday, May 27, 2005

Big Mo'!!!

The momentum that the Hardberger campaign has picked up over the past couple of weeks is truly amazing. First, much of Schubert's base switches their support to the Judge, then legendary civil right leader Claude Black endorses Phil. Add that to the fact that Hardberger has been endorsed by Congressmen Charlie Gonzalez and Ciro Rodriguez, both Democratic and Republican Bexar County Party Chairs, and Carroll Schubert and very few people could honestly argue that the Hardberger campaign is not seeing a surge of momentum.

When you put these endorsements alongside a re-energized field program (120 people blockwalking on Saturday alone!), you've got a campaign that is looking to make some noise on June 7. This race is going to be decided on the ground, and while Matt over at Just Another Blog believes this gives the edge to Castro, I differ.

I agree with Matt that Phil will take districts 8-10, and Julian will take districts 3-7. However, as I have said in a previous post, districts 1 and 2 will be toss-ups. There are a few major turnout questions left to answer however. First, how does Castro keep districts 3-5 from turning out horrendously low? There is no Gutierrez-Segovia fight in district 3 to push turnout up anymore, and districts 4 and 5 were both extremely low turnout areas on May 7th to begin with. Without even a token campaign presence by Richard Perez and Patti Radle in both of those districts, I see them losing even more voters- which hurts Castro bad.

As far as turnout in districts 6 and 7 goes, the question here that needs to be asked is- where will the votes come from? If the votes come from Edgewood and the near Westside, then that helps Castro's campaign immensely. However if the votes come from further out, say out around Huebner and Eckhert in 7 and the Great Northwest in 6- then they just might split evenly between Hardberger and Castro.

The final question that needs to be asked is whether or not each candidate will be able to reach a threshold of credibility in the other's home territory. I think the Judge is in a much better situation than Castro is on this point. That's what a citywide campaign will do for you. For the general election, Castro had about a 35 percentage point margin of victory over Hardberger in districts 3-7. Hardberger had about a 15 percentage point margin of victory over Castro in districts 8-10. Which seems to point to a big Castro advantage.

Except, Schubert throws everything off-kilter. It's pretty reasonable to expect Hardberger to take 35% of the vote in districts 3 and 4, 20% in district 5, and 40+% in districts 6 and 7. All- except for district 5- showing that Phil has reached a level of credibility in the respective district. Castro can be expected to take about 30% in district 8, 20% in district 9, and 25% in district 10. If you believe as I do that districts 8-10 count for a few thousand more votes than districts 3-7 do in the run-off, then Hardberger has a small cushion.

In districts 1 and 2, Hardberger voters + Schubert voters= dead heat with Castro voters. Rev. Claude Blacks's endorsement will also shift some votes around in district 2. But as I have said before, so long as Hardberger can come out even in these two districts- and not hemmorhage votes away- then his cushion from the other 8 districts puts him on top.