The Jeffersonian: Politicks, Sports, and Culture

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

Rodriguez v. Raymond v. Cuellar

Let's wrap up what we knew about this race up until a week ago... Cuellar sucks, Raymond had a lot of money in the bank, Rodriguez doesn't and was supposedly floundering and looking to hop on out of the race. Then comes the polls, more polls, an Express-News article about the polls, and campaign spinnage.

Andre Pineda, Rodriguez' pollster (who, by the way, gives us a really cool link to an article extolling the benefits of early polling. anyone who throws in a link like that gets cool points from me), had this to say over at his blog several days ago:

To all you Texas bloggers out there, I blame you. Between you and the San Antonio papers, you had me convinced that Richard Raymond was for real. If not exactly the second coming, at least the second coming of Cuellar. So, sitting in my remote Pasadena (Calif.) perch, you convinced me that if I did a poll of the 28th congressional district in Texas, Raymond would pull so much support from his fellow Laredan, Henry Cuellar, that Ciro Rodriguez would be at least close to the lead.

Then he throws this graph at us:

Cuellar's pollster Jef Pollack has the poll numbers looking this way: Cuellar- 54, Rodriguez- 20, Raymond- 9. So there's some difference in those numbers, but both have Raymond way, way back in third.

Now, what does this all mean? First and foremost, yes, Raymond as neither the current or former Congressman, is not as well known as Cuellar or Rodriguez. This is to be expected. But, numbers that low are a little bit surprising. We're less than four months out now, and with a lull about to come over us from Thanksgiving to New Year's, Raymond's going to need to start showing something.

Secondly, there's no way in hell Cuellar's not going into a run-off. You're telling me that between the both of them Rodriguez and Raymond can't manage, at the very least, 50% plus one? Even if you don't see Raymond as a factor in this race right now because of his lack of name ID, then you'd have to at least admit that his numbers will rise as he spends his money, eating up some of the undecideds and peeling off voters from Rodriguez and Cuellar.

Finally, to keep his numbers up where they are, Ciro is going to have to raise some money. What he's shown so far isn't going to cut it. I don't care how loyal voters are, if they don't know you're running until they see your name on the ballot, it's going to be awfully hard to pull 80% anywhere. If he doesn't do this, he runs the risk of either having Raymond pass him by or Cuellar doing the unthinkable- winning sans run-off.

Three things are going to define this race. Raymond's introduction to the voters and how fast and how high his numbers rise. Raymond's and Rodriguez' attempts to showcase Cuellar's record and how fast and how low his numbers drop, and Ciro's bank account. If Rodriguez can't find the money to run, then we run the risk of both Raymond and Rodriguez doing so poorly that Cuellar's dream of straight-up primary victory has a shot of becoming reality.

Kuff and The Red State have more.

Update: Pineda Consulting has more, including another graph breaking down the poll results by region. Pineda also lets us know that members of the Democratic Hispanic congressional delegation have done several events since the last finance report for Ciro.