Thursday, November 02, 2006

TX-21 and TX-25 update

With five days to go (and thank God for that!), TX-21 and TX-25 pretty much remain the way the conventional wisdom has called them: fairly safe seats for their incumbents. Lamar Smith, who still doesn't have a campaign website, and Lloyd Doggett, who still doesn't have much of one, seem content to coast through November 7. Mr. Doggett, in particular, was painted by the American-Statesman (in this article) as having no "real opposition".

However, to win, the incumbents (or anyone, of course) must receive over 50% of the popular votes in their district; otherwise, we get another month of ads and a runoff. Most sources seem to paint both districts as safe for their incumbents, but we'll see soon enough.

Neither incumbent, however, seemed to help their causes with their rather pompous statements in declining to debate their challengers. Both of them basically stated that since they are set to win at this point, they did not want to bother possibly upsetting the tea cart. (That was pretty much a paraphrase of the Smith campaign statement; Mr. Doggett's statement of not debating because he hadn't seen his opponents really just sounds lame.)

That said, KEYE has the best voter's guide I've seen for Texas, allowing you to find the races for your address. It also has position statements for many of the candidates, allowing you to compare two candidates at a time. I know it does leave out some races, particularly the judicial ones, but it's better than what Texans have been getting to determine which races apply to them. (California, I'm told, sends out a sample ballot to voters; why can't Texas take this online voter's guide and allow people to view their sample ballot online?)

Oh, I did promise earlier to have more on Jim Strohm in TX-21, even though the race remains basically Smith vs. Courage, as it was before the redistricting. Mr. Strohm wants to introduce articles of impeachment against the his first act. At least he's honest about it.