With Only Months Until The Election: Why TCR Is Optimistic And Why We Still Have Concerns

For conservatives in 2014 it is the best of times, but potentially it could be a hugely disappointing time.

First, the reasons for optimism:

  1. Nationalization of the election at this point is a huge plus for conservatives. President Obama's approval rating continues to decline and is now at a 53% disapproval and currently is a drag on Democrats nationally.
  2. The enthusiasm gap: polling for months have shown Republican voters are much more excited about getting to the polls than Democrats. The numbers currently look like this: 45% GOP more enthusiastic than last cycle vs. 37% for Democrats.
  3. In the key races, Governor: Greg Abbott (R) vs. Wendy Davis (D) and U.S. Senate: John Cornyn (R) vs. David Alameel (D), the GOPs lead handily in the polls and barring a major faux pas, will win these races. The latest polls show Abbott at 54% and Davis at 37%, similarly Cornyn at 55% and Alameel at 38%, and in the Lt. Governor race where the Democrats plan to demonize Sen. Dan Patrick, polls show 41% with Patrick and 26% for Van de Putte. In other words, they're our races to lose.
  4. In the all-important money race, the GOP is either competitive or ahead in every key race.

But there are causes for concern:

  1. President Obama is not giving up and intends to continue to far exceed his executive authority, with plans to grant some form of amnesty. 
  2. But Obama is pushing the envelope because his real goal is to get the GOP to impeach him, and we will hear from Democrats "it's all about race" in the talking points to rally Democrats to the polls in November.
  3. In Texas, the slime and demonization machine will go full force to try to tar and feather any Republican they can, the latest target being Ken Paxton, GOP candidate for Attorney General.
  4. The breakdown of the GOP in major counties: first Dallas County, and now the attacks are coming to Harris County. There are vulnerabilities seen by longtime GOP activists for Harris County. Let's see; (A) no race for the County Judge and no real race for any GOP County Commissioners, (B) a new County Chair going through transition, (C) the hiring by the county party of a new executive director with poor relations with the Republican Party of Texas leadership, (D) the county party moving its headquarters (a thought here, wait until after the election as any move will create downtime.) (E) The most visible countywide race is for District Attorney where incumbent Devon Anderson faces well financed challenger Kim Ogg. This is a race to watch where the GOP needs to work hard to retain the seat. A slip-up here could also affect traditionally tight judicial races.
  5. The potential referendum in the City of Houston on Mayor Parker's anti-discrimination gay rights ordinance. With a court fight coming, the big question will be resolved by August 18, the last day to order a Special Election for a measure. If on the ballot, which ticket benefits by the increased turnout? Some say GOP and some say Democrats.
  6. Like most races in off-year elections, if we do our work and turn out the votes, we will be successful. For the Democrats in the major counties, the formula is similar. Statewide, any Democratic win would be an upset.
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