The Jeffersonian: Politicks, Sports, and Culture

Tuesday, June 07, 2005

What Happens Today

As shown by the recent surveyUSA poll, Hardberger still has a (growing) lead, putting to bed all those ridiculous comments about Big Mo' swinging back to Castro. Within the margin of error? Of course. Further evidence this is gonna be a close race? Yup. Edge to Hardberger right now? Definitely.

As the recent spate of Express-News columns (see this post over at Just Another Blog for all the links) has tried to bang us over the head with, this race is going to be close. Carlos Guerra thinks Phil's margin of victory (like how I slipped that in?) could be below 5,000 votes. I think it'll be even closer- say 3,000 votes.

I don't know if anything that Castro has done over the last four weeks of the campaign really helped him. His public plea to Schubert supporters blew up in his face, he went negative too late to gain any traction, and when he did go negative he did so on a issue that was just wrong. You have to make a more compelling case than just a 30-second ads if you're attacking the base of an opponent's strength (as an aside, how Rovian was this? It's like his '94 attack on Richard's diversity or his attack on Kerry's military serivce. Not as effective as these two, but you've gotta admire where Castro was coming from). Plus, Castro's campaign should have seen all angles of this attack. Susan Reed effectively neutralized this attack. A better response for Castro would have been if he had made a 30-second testimonial talking about how his campaigns are about the future of San Antonio, not the petty, partisan politics of the past that *ahem*you have forsaken.

On the other hand, Hardberger's run-off campaign effectively sealed his status (for me, at least) of the sort of public servant that we should all hope to have. A person with substantial, bipartisan support who is beholden to no one.

On the horseracin' side, much ado has been made about Castro having a definable base while Hardberger has to rely on the kindness of Schubert supporters. Well, TJ Connolly said the same 'base' thing about Carroll Schubert, and as far as whether or not Schubert supporters come out and support the good Judge, let's look at it mathematically. Hardberger has less than 14,000 votes to make up, if Schubert supporters come over to Phil at the 8/9 to 1 margin that surveyUSA is stating, then Hardberger needs 18,000 of Schubert's 30,000+ voters supporters to show up to cancel out Castro's lead.

Look at it another way. When, in the last 10 years, have those voters who could be classified as Schubert supporters not shown up for a major election (heck, any election)? Why would this election be any different?

Having said that, it's put up or shut up time in a few hours. As good as the Castro campaign is on the ground, the Hardberger campaign is its equal. It'll be a tight race, but Phil Hardberger pulls out this win with 51-52% of the vote. Close, but as a certain recent election has shown, the margin of victory doesn't matter. What matters is who gets to sit in the seat.

Update (10:37 am): The Red State will be liveblogging starting this afternoon. Am looking forward to it, go check it out.

Update (6:38 pm): So there was supposed to be a post below this one, same length as this one, with my District 6 and 7 predictions. But alas, blogger has foiled me again. So with less than 30 minutes before the early vote totals come out, here's the quick and dirty version.

In District 6, Ray Lopez eeks by, by the sheer size of his warchest in relation to everyone else he has ran against. In District 7, Elena Guajardo takes a solid victory (around 55% of the vote) due to her unique ability to combine an impressive fundraising ability (with very little developer support nonetheless) with a very, very good ground game.