Texas-22: Rep. Tom DeLay (R) will win this race against two minor-league Republican challengers, the more high-profile of which is Tom Campbell (R). The question is by how much DeLay wins. If he doesn’t win it by more than 20 points, it is a very bad sign for this November. If he wins anything close to two-thirds of the vote, he can puff out his chest and consider himself in excellent shape for the general election contest against former Rep. Nick Lampson (D). Although Democrats can cross over to vote in this primary, they would probably be more likely to vote for DeLay in the hopes that he is convicted later this year. Likely DeLay.
Texas-28: This race between Rep. Henry Cuellar (D) and his political nemesis, former Rep. Ciro Rodriguez (D), is by far the most interesting race tomorrow. With significant help from unions and far-left groups such as MoveOn.org, and behind-the-scenes help from Washington Democrats, Rodriguez has finally raised some money and is attacking Cuellar for his moderate record and his willingness to work with President Bush and Republicans.
Despite the common wisdom, we expect Cuellar to win tomorrow by 10 points. The media has inflated Rodriguez’s real chances without considering several important factors that we believe doom him to a repeat defeat.
1) First, this is an open primary in which voters can request either party’s ballot. Aside from a State Supreme Court race between two Austin-area conservatives, there are no Republican primaries worth voting in — particularly with Carole Keaton Strayhorn (I) out of the GOP primary for governor. This means that Cuellar, a moderate on abortion who supports free trade and gun rights, will get thousands of Republican crossover votes.
2) Second, Rodriguez, during his (just under) four terms of service, became a
3) Although Cuellar’s vote for CAFTA has been framed as a talking point against him, free trade is an indisputably positive issue in the 28th district and should actually help him. The district benefits heavily from free trade — NAFTA helped the region’s economic growth. The district houses international
4) Cuellar’s base in
This race is an excellent test for understanding the nature of the Hispanic Democratic vote in
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