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Friday’s Debate Could Be Last Gasp For Dewhurst Campaign

Political analysts think Dan Patrick will win the Republican nomination.


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It’s unusual for the incumbent to be unseated, but Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst is as many as 20 points behind state Sen. Dan Patrick in the polls.

And there’s little chance that this debate will put Dewhurst back in the lead, according to Jon Taylor, who chairs the Political Science Department at the University of St. Thomas.

“Let’s use a football analogy: Rice vs Florida State. Does Rice have a chance? Sure. A puncher’s chance. Is it much of a shot? The answer’s no. And that’s what we’re going to see on Friday night, is whether or not Dewhurst is already aware that he’s going to lose.”

Taylor does expect to see Dewhurst go on the attack against Patrick, but says it’ll be too little, too late. At Texas Southern University, Jay Aiyer is an assistant professor of public policy. He says voters might see a new side of Dan Patrick in this debate.

“It might be a situation where it’s almost a role reversal, where Sen. Patrick is really going to take the role of trying to be a statesman and sort of above it. And kind of the Rose Garden victory lap strategy. And Lt. Gov. Dewhurst may take on the mantle of the attack dog, which is what we customarily think of when we think of Sen. Patrick.”

The debate airs Friday at 7 p.m. on News 88.7 and TV-8

Both political analysts predict Patrick will win the run-off and go on to become the state’s next Lt. Governor.