The Texas Governor’s race this year comes down to a question of whether voters will change their votes. Mark Jones chairs the Political Science Department at Rice University. He says Republicans have a 10-15 point advantage in off-year elections in Texas.
“White was already running against a strong headwind in terms of trying to be elected in the state of Texas as a Democrat. When you throw in all the problems the Democratic party is having nationally, as well as the unpopularity of President Obama in the state of Texas, it just makes it very difficult for any candidate.”
What could help White in the race is that many Republicans are unhappy with Governor Rick Perry. Jones says the governor has had to work a bit harder in this election cycle than he did four years ago against Chris Bell.
“So it has been a very competitive race for Perry, but Perry is an excellent campaigner and he enjoys campaigning. So while he’s had to exert a great deal of effort and actually pay much more attention to the campaign than say would be the case four years ago, he nonetheless has done a good job at it.”
Jones says based on how the race is going now, his guess is Perry will win the election, but White will get at least 42 percent of the vote. And if that happens, he predicts we’ll see Bill White on the campaign trail again quite soon…in the 2012 senate race.