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Pundit Surprised Dems Didn’t Do Better

Even though Barack Obama won the Presidency by a landslide vote, one local political observer says he’s surprised that the national landslide didn’t
help more Democrats win in Harris County. Jim Bell explains.


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Despite the Democrats national landslide, and despite Democrats winning most of the Harris County races, Republicans still won the races for County Judge, District Attorney and County Tax Assessor-Collector.  That’s what surprised Rice University Political Science professor Bob Stein.

“I think the surprise here probably was that with all of the woes the Republicans had in Harris County, that the Democrats didn’t do slightly better.”

Stein says the Democrats won all these local races because of local issues and courthouse scandals — not because of Barack Obama’s national landslide.  No coat-tail effect here.

“I don’t think there’s any question about that, and I think also in the County Judge (race).  I think Stafford suffered from was the sting of perception at the County Attorney and District Attorney’s office of Rosenthal being gone. I think it also helped to get Judge Emmett in. He ran against that.” 

Stein says he’s also intrigued by the fact that Republicans managed to hold on to three important county positions amid a Democratic sweep of other races. He says that shows many people voted each race individually, and didn’t vote a straight ticket, which he thinks is a good thing.

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