Skip to comments.Hutchison sticks to Republican themes in trying to oust GOP governor [Perry - TxGov]
Posted on 12/13/2009 7:37:19 AM PST by deport
Debra Medina For Governor is the other candidate in the GOP primary. Visit her website for information about her candidacy.
Each campaign, expecting turnout surge among casual Republican voters, hammers away at conservative credentials.
Sunday, December 13, 2009
Recent statements and strategy decisions have made clear that U.S. Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison believes it is Republicans — and not independents or Democrats, as some others have suggested — who can lift her to victory over Gov. Rick Perry in the March GOP primary.
Hutchison's campaign expects a surge of voters who support Republicans but do not regularly vote in Republican primaries. And to appeal to those voters, she has in recent weeks stressed her support from former Vice President Dick Cheney and highlighted what she hopes voters will see as Perry's departures from conservative orthodoxy on issues such as government intervention and private property rights.
Perry's campaign also expects a higher-than-usual turnout to come from general election voters who support Republicans but don't regularly vote in primaries. That may explain why Perry has cast Hutchison as a spend-happy creature of Washington, where Republicans have lost full control to Democrats.
In the past two gubernatorial elections, fewer than 700,000 people voted in the Republican primary. But those races did not have the kind of high-dollar, high-profile matchup that Republicans face this year as Hutchison, a senator since 1993, tries to end Perry's gubernatorial tenure at 10 years.
Hutchison campaign manager Terry Sullivan said he expects primary turnout to more than double to 1.5 million voters in March. "There hasn't been a big Republican (gubernatorial) primary for them to vote in," Sullivan said.
The Perry campaign anticipates 1.2 million people will vote in the Republican primary, said Perry consultant Dave Carney.
"I can't imagine any Democrat or left-leaning independent not voting in the Democrats' primary," Carney said.
Democrats will have their own contested primary to keep their voters home, headlined by Houston Mayor Bill White and businessman Farouk Shami dueling for the party's gubernatorial nomination.
Because anybody can vote in a primary, there is a certain conventional wisdom that says candidates increase the primary turnout by appealing to independents and members of the other party.
But there are plenty of Republicans out there for Perry and Hutchison to target.
About 2.1 million Texans have voted in at least one Republican primary in the past four elections, Carney said. And about 4.5 million Texans voted last year for Sen. John McCain, the Republican presidential nominee.
Daron Shaw, a government professor at the University of Texas, said 72 percent of Texas Republican primary voters in 2008 identified themselves as conservatives, compared with 20 percent who said they were moderates and 8 percent who said they were liberals.
Hutchison, however, believes she can draw voters to the primary by sounding familiar Republican themes.
"Traditional Republican primary voters are no more conservative than most of your general Republican voters," Sullivan said.
Carney agreed. Rather than ideology, what often separates Republicans who take part in primaries and those who don't is that the regular primary voters feel more connected to their communities, he said.
In what appears to be an effort to win conservative voters, Hutchison has repeatedly pointed to Perry's 2007 order mandating that schoolgirls get an immunization to protect them from the human papillomavirus. She is also trying to stoke the anger of landowners who thought the state was unfairly trying to take their land to build the Trans-Texas Corridor, Perry's vision of toll roads crisscrossing the state, which has been abandoned.
Those issues illustrate a gap between Perry's conservative rhetoric and his record, Sullivan said.
Meanwhile, Hutchison's campaign is trying to remind Republicans of the reasons they like her, such as pushing a tax deduction for states, such as Texas, that lack an income tax, and voting to increase border security.
But Hutchison has hurdles to clear with conservative Republicans.
A November Rasmussen Reports poll gave Perry a lead of 11 percentage points over Hutchison among voters who say they plan to vote in the Republican primary. But Perry's lead among those who described themselves as conservatives was 22 percentage points.
Furthermore, Perry has hammered Hutchison on a number of fronts, most notably for supporting the 2008 financial rescue package that came to be known as the Wall Street bailout.
While saying that Perry passed the state's largest-ever cut in property taxes, the Perry team notes that Hutchison voted numerous times to raise the federal debt ceiling and has regularly voted to approve federal spending bills. Those issues fold into what they hope will be the predominant theme of the campaign: Texas vs. Washington.
Hutchison has taken some moderate positions over the years. She has favored embryonic stem cell research and backed an expansion of the Children's Health Insurance Program that Perry opposed. She also angered social conservatives by casting a symbolic vote in support of the Roe v. Wade decision that made abortion legal, although she supports many abortion restrictions.
But Hutchison has voted with the Republican caucus in the Senate 89 percent of the time this year, according to an analysis by The Washington Post. Even when she voted to raise the debt ceiling, she generally did so along with most of her GOP colleagues. When she appeared with Cheney in Houston last month, she said, "I am the conservative in this race."
In 2006, several Republican challengers beat incumbent Republicans in the Texas House with help from teachers' groups, school voucher opponents and advocates for more spending on schools. At the time, those campaigns seemed to provide a road map for defeating conservative Republicans in the primary.
"They reached out to the education community to indicate that they would be there with them on their issues, and that was a major factor," said Richard Kouri of the Texas State Teachers Association, one of the groups that got involved in the 2006 primaries. He also pointed out that those races came when tensions between school groups and the Legislature peaked. Much of that anger has dissipated.
Hutchison has not actively sought the support of those groups. In fact, she recently rolled out an education plan that did not call for an overall spending increase for schools. She has talked of expanding the Republican Party but has generally not emphasized issues, such as stem cell research, that might bring independents or Democrats into the GOP primary.
Democratic consultant Jason Stanford said the campaigns are smart to focus on Republican voters.
"The easiest untapped source of votes in the primary is Republicans, not Democrats or independents," he said.
end of article..............
RINOs fighting it out. LOL
Which one can out-RINO the other???
How’s that fence coming, Kay?
Oh, never mind.
Kinky is running again...just heard it on the radio.
I makes me sick...
Kinky is running again...just heard it on the radio.
As a democrat this time or that was his earlier indications. He’s been making noise about dropping out and I saw one article where he indicated that he and Bill White may could work together as their governing ideas are similiar.
You guys are Texas. What the heck is going on?
I hate that commercial where she says she’s staying in the Senate at great risk to her political future.
Playing for the sympathy vote......
Hows that fence coming, Kay?
Heck her and Perry don’t want no steenk’n fence haven’t you heard. Drain the Rio Grande and let’em walk across which is about what they are doing now.
That one makes me sick also... the “great risk” was self-imposed the moment she decided to leave DC for Texas. She is apparently under the misguided impression that the people of Texas are interested in a gutless “go-along-to-get along” RINO.... WRONG!
You guys are Texas. What the heck is going on?
Electing us a King or Queen depending upon which one wins. They have both been sucking at the gov’t trough for most of their lives.
REMEMBER THIS, TEXANS:
Feds Have Built Only 32 Miles of 700 Mile Double-Border Fence Originally Mandated by Congress
One reason DHS has been able to do this is an amendment that Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison (R.-Texas) slipped into an omnibus appropriations bill that Congress passed on December 18, 2007. Hutchisons amendment put a loophole in the fence law that allowed the secretary of Homeland Security not to build the fence Congress had mandated the year before.
REMEMBER THIS WHEN YOU VOTE FOR GOVERNOR
I expect that she anticipates a lot of rats crossing over in the primary. The rats aren't even close to being competitive.
An old (Nov) Rasmussen poll has Perry, who no one I know of really likes but simply tolerates, as 11 points over KBH but that's only among GOP voters. She might have internal polling that indicates she can capture a lot of rat crossovers.
Or at least that's the only thing I can figure.
I wish the RINOs in DC were more like Perry and less like KBH. I think the whole country would be much better off.
I do too.
Plus, I cant understand why someone who promised only 2 terms, then ran for a third would be mad at a governor who wants to be there for a total of 14 years.
KBH’s big deal is Perry will have been in Austin too long. Wasnt KBH in DC too long?
Hopefully with Bill White entering the race it will dilute the crossover vote that would have helped KBH in the primary, making it easier for Debra Medina - the “Tea Party” candidate who is much more conservative than either of KBH or Rick Perry - to finish at least second in the primary which could get her into the runoff.
....but....but what about KINKY!....
...I can't wait to have a clown governor whose name is KINKY....
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