Why All the Focus on Republican Texas?

As between Ohio and Texas, it seems to me the media is concentrating too much on Texas, which is all but certain to go Republican in November.

By contrast, as I've written several times this week, and as at least the Minneapolis Star Tribune is now reporting, Ohio could go either way in November.

[Texas] will likely be largely ignored by the eventual nominees this fall even as Ohio is avidly courted. It has become so completely Republican that no Democrat has been elected to a statewide office in the past 14 years.

No Republican has been elected President without winning Ohio since Abe Lincoln. The only Democrats in the past century to become President without winning Ohio were FDR and JFK.

Which Democratic nominee in recent history won Ohio? Bill Clinton -- twice. Why? Because unlike Al Gore and John Kerry, he won southeastern Ohio. Gore and Kerry won big in Northern Ohio but lost the state to Bush.

CNN tongiht said there is a huge ice storm and flood warnings in the state and the hyperactive weatherman said it's so bad polling places may be closed in that area. [Corrected to reflect that the ice storms are not expected in the southeastern portion of the state.]

As for what to watch for in Ohio, this should get you started.

< The Youth Vote | Late Night: American Girl, Three Versions >
  • The Online Magazine with Liberal coverage of crime-related political and injustice news

  • Contribute To TalkLeft

  • Display: Sort:
    Another Ohio Poll (5.00 / 2) (#5)
    by RalphB on Mon Mar 03, 2008 at 10:10:34 PM EST
    The University of Cincinnati has released its final Ohio Poll concerning tomorrow's election and a relatively easy win by Clinton is projected:

        51.3% Clinton
        42.3% Obama

    Details in pdf from here

    Survey USA: Clinton 54 - Obama 44 (5.00 / 1) (#17)
    by Angel on Mon Mar 03, 2008 at 10:32:40 PM EST
    Verbage from that SUSA poll (5.00 / 1) (#23)
    by RalphB on Mon Mar 03, 2008 at 10:38:06 PM EST
    In SurveyUSA's data: the 16 minutes that Clinton spent arguing with Obama about health care at this week's NBC News debate appears to have paid off. Slightly more voters now name health care as the most important issue, and among those who do, Clinton today leads by 24 points, up from a 7-point lead last week. In greater Cincinnati, Clinton had trailed in two previous SurveyUSA tracking polls, but today leads by 19 points. In greater Dayton, the swing is smaller, but also to Clinton. In Southeast Ohio, Clinton has always led, but now leads overwhelmingly. If you combine these 3 regions and draw them on a map, they form a horseshoe, and trace the Ohio boundary that touches red-state Indiana on the West, red-state Kentucky on the South and red state West Virginia on the East. At this hour, that horseshoe is functioning as Clinton's firewall.

    but but but (5.00 / 1) (#40)
    by reynwrap582 on Mon Mar 03, 2008 at 10:50:08 PM EST
    Shut your beak, Hillary, nobody cares about the issues!

    haha, the media didn't anyway :-) (5.00 / 1) (#44)
    by RalphB on Mon Mar 03, 2008 at 11:00:00 PM EST
    They already (none / 0) (#55)
    by BernieO on Tue Mar 04, 2008 at 07:30:33 AM EST
    have health care.

    Hope this isn't too (5.00 / 1) (#6)
    by jen on Mon Mar 03, 2008 at 10:11:28 PM EST
    o/t -- it is a brilliant opinion piece in the Houston Chronicle, which endorsed Obama a few weeks ago.

    Clinton will change our future for the better

    Was that a typo? (none / 0) (#19)
    by Kathy on Mon Mar 03, 2008 at 10:35:05 PM EST
    They endorsed Obama a few weeks ago?  What has changed them so drastically?

    The particular article mentioned about the real (5.00 / 1) (#24)
    by Angel on Mon Mar 03, 2008 at 10:39:01 PM EST
    change coming from Hillary was a "viewpoint" from a reader/contributor.  The Chronicle did endorse BO.

    Finally listened to Hillary? (5.00 / 1) (#25)
    by RalphB on Mon Mar 03, 2008 at 10:39:27 PM EST
    or Tina Fey   :-)

    Prolly....only explanation. (none / 0) (#27)
    by Angel on Mon Mar 03, 2008 at 10:40:09 PM EST
    oped vs. editorial (5.00 / 1) (#28)
    by Jeralyn on Mon Mar 03, 2008 at 10:40:17 PM EST
    not a typo, it was an oped, not an editorial, as the commenter noted.

    typo was a joke (apparently failed) (5.00 / 1) (#35)
    by Kathy on Mon Mar 03, 2008 at 10:45:11 PM EST
    It's just so rare that a newspaper will allow such a divergent view from their editorial board's stated position.  Maybe the NY Times, but not regional papers.

    I thought so, too, Kathy. (none / 0) (#47)
    by jen on Mon Mar 03, 2008 at 11:37:00 PM EST
    Very strange that they endorse one candidate, then publish an opinion piece that totally negates that endorsement.

    wow (5.00 / 1) (#10)
    by Josey on Mon Mar 03, 2008 at 10:17:35 PM EST
    The Enquirer sez Obama has been targeting Repubs and Indys, urging them to be a Democrat for a day through robocalls.
    Wasn't someone in Obama's campaign fired last week for distributing fliers with the same info?
    Can't they track the robocaller?

    Because the media is focused (5.00 / 1) (#26)
    by Democratic Cat on Mon Mar 03, 2008 at 10:39:56 PM EST
    on the horse race. Based on the polls, it looks like Obama won't win Ohio. But if he wins Texas, it could knock Clinton out, and that would be the big story. They don't want to miss the big story.

    A Hillary comeback story based on a win in Ohio is not as big a deal to the media as an end-of-the-Clinton era story that a loss in Texas plus a withdrawal would be. (Not that I think that's going to happen.)

    And let us not downplay, in the least (5.00 / 2) (#36)
    by Cream City on Mon Mar 03, 2008 at 10:46:13 PM EST
    that Texas makes for better tv, because they can get outside with their cameras and wear cowboy hats instead of goshawful winter hats or no sensible headgear at all while shivering in front of the cameras in Ohio . . . or, worse, having to shoot endless videos in high school gyms. Seriously, where would you rather be and what would you rather see on your tv in early March -- Cleveland or Austin? And there's the Tex-Mex food, yum, vs. czarnina and blood sausages, an acquired taste. :-)

    Margaritas, yum :-) (5.00 / 1) (#38)
    by RalphB on Mon Mar 03, 2008 at 10:49:13 PM EST
    From what I gather at (5.00 / 1) (#41)
    by NJDem on Mon Mar 03, 2008 at 10:51:09 PM EST
    weather.com, the storm will hit OH, to varying degrees, mainly in the afternoon and start leaving by early evening.  So if there is a problem at the polls and the governor extends the voting until say 10pm, it should be o.k.  

    What time are the polls supposed to close anyway.  I know the TX caucus is at 7:15 cst, so when will we know--9est?  

    Ohio (5.00 / 1) (#42)
    by JanL on Mon Mar 03, 2008 at 10:56:49 PM EST
    I live in SW Ohio and every Democrat I know is torn completely.  We are scared of the past and the future, with either candidate.  I am a rather indifferent Obama supporter and I tend to think it will break his way but it will be very close, indeed.  As a Democrat, I want him to win...it will show he can win a big purple state.  The weather is rainy and cool and will not turn away anyone - and we have had heavy early voting, which might be to his advantage that can't accurately be polled.  Fingers crossed, no matter what, I'd like this over with by tomorrow evening.  But, I doubt it entirely.

    Texas is important (5.00 / 1) (#54)
    by p lukasiak on Tue Mar 04, 2008 at 05:50:40 AM EST
    ...because that is where the media thinks that Obama might beat Clinton.

    If Clinton wins in Texas tomorrow, the media will forget all of its spin for the last two weeks about Obama's 'momentum', and all the polls they've been touting showing Obama on his way to victory.  Instead the story will be about how Obama came from XX points behind, cut into Clinton's support, blah, blah, blah...

    And Vermont will suddenly become the most important state of all.

    Quick clarification! (none / 0) (#1)
    by liminal on Mon Mar 03, 2008 at 10:00:44 PM EST
    The ice storm is supposed to hit northern Ohio - the Cleveland area, for example.  SE Ohio will get the storm too, but it is forecast to be heavy rain, rather than ice, with the possibility of significant localized flooding.

    I hope it's not so bad that polling places are (5.00 / 1) (#2)
    by RalphB on Mon Mar 03, 2008 at 10:06:39 PM EST
    closed.  That would be horrible weather.

    Ohio is much more important to the GE than Texas.


    If this was the storm that was (5.00 / 1) (#32)
    by Cream City on Mon Mar 03, 2008 at 10:42:06 PM EST
    supposed to hit so hard in northern Illinois and southern Wisconsin today, it didn't. Nothing near as nasty as what we've had this winter. So let us hope that it fizzles out on the other side of the Great Lakes, too -- because it was bad that we didn't get "Dem weather" in the Wisconsin primary, so I'll be even more burned out by this bad winter if it messes with another Midwestern primary, too. Darn, the forecast not that many days ago was for a March thaw across the Great Lakes this week. One of those Canadian dips came down too far again. Grrrr.

    Cold tomorrow in Austin and other parts of the (none / 0) (#34)
    by Angel on Mon Mar 03, 2008 at 10:43:36 PM EST
    state.  Maybe some rain in the morning.  Ugh.

    Oh, do define cold in Texas in March (5.00 / 1) (#39)
    by Cream City on Mon Mar 03, 2008 at 10:49:40 PM EST
    for me, huddled up here almost to Canada with six-foot-high piles of snow still all around us this winter. By now, we often have just some patches of snow, between thaws, and can start to imagine spring again. Seriously, how cold is cold enough -- and how wet is wet enough -- to keep some tough Texans from the polls?

    We thought it was cold today. (5.00 / 1) (#43)
    by RalphB on Mon Mar 03, 2008 at 10:58:02 PM EST
    It was low 50s and rain.  Could be a light freeze tonight but tomorrow should be nice.  Weather won't keep a lot of people from the polls anyway.

    I hope for good weather in the Rio Grande Valley :-)


    Sigh. We call that May. (nt) (none / 0) (#48)
    by Cream City on Mon Mar 03, 2008 at 11:43:58 PM EST
    It should be sunny and 66 in Austin tomorrow (none / 0) (#37)
    by RalphB on Mon Mar 03, 2008 at 10:47:34 PM EST
    Oh, my. We call that July! (nt) (none / 0) (#49)
    by Cream City on Mon Mar 03, 2008 at 11:44:18 PM EST
    July in TX (none / 0) (#52)
    by RalphB on Mon Mar 03, 2008 at 11:55:19 PM EST
    will be near 100 and sweltering.  Warm winters have their price  :-)

    I'll go check (none / 0) (#4)
    by Jeralyn on Mon Mar 03, 2008 at 10:09:05 PM EST
    They showed a map and highlighted southeastern ohio on the segment I saw (or thought I saw)

    Just checked and the ice storms were not (none / 0) (#12)
    by Jeralyn on Mon Mar 03, 2008 at 10:21:29 PM EST
    scheduled for the south but the north. But the weather should be awful, flooding in the south, ice storms in the north.

    SW Ohio is under flood warnings (none / 0) (#46)
    by trishb on Mon Mar 03, 2008 at 11:29:28 PM EST
    Right now as far as I know, anywhere from 1-4 inches of rain by tomorrow night.  Not so much going on right now here in Loveland. FWIW, Loveland is across 3 counties, Warren, Hamilton and Clermont.

    Warren is always Republican. I lived less than a mile from where the vote counting was conducted for 2004.  They closed the vote counting down that night and blamed it on homeland security.  I still wonder if it was the fault of the soybeans or the cows. Oh, and homeland security always denied involvement.  Sure, whatever.  Get me that tinfoil hat, I now need  it.  


    I remember that -- Warren (none / 0) (#50)
    by Cream City on Mon Mar 03, 2008 at 11:46:48 PM EST
    is near Cleveland? I recall that story because I have a friend who grew up in Warren, loves the Indians (few Indians fans in Wisconsin:-). He is a Republican but an old-fashioned conservative who was so appalled by the homeland security nonsense . . . if it was good for a few jokes about how in heck the Axis of Evil ever decided to attack Warren, Ohio.

    Would they delay the Election? (none / 0) (#3)
    by katiebird on Mon Mar 03, 2008 at 10:07:33 PM EST
    If polling places are closed don't they have to postpone the election?

    Extremely unlikely (none / 0) (#9)
    by riddlerandy on Mon Mar 03, 2008 at 10:14:36 PM EST
    absent a court order, or declaration of emergency by the Governor that includes as part of his order the delaying of the election.  Now, who is that governor supporting . . . .

    I don't know how (none / 0) (#13)
    by Anne on Mon Mar 03, 2008 at 10:24:31 PM EST
    they work things in Ohio, but in the recent Maryland primary, where I was an election judge, the polls were kept open an extra 90 minutes because of freezing rain.  It made for a really long night closing the polls, a treacherous ride home, and we had exactly 6 voters in that extra hour-and-a-half.

    Why all the focus? (none / 0) (#7)
    by LarryInNYC on Mon Mar 03, 2008 at 10:12:14 PM EST
    I assume because, despite the rather uneven distribution of delegates within Texas (with some areas receiving only half the representation of others) that Texas as a whole contributes delegates to the convention in proportion to its population.

    In other words, there's a lot at stake primary-wise in Texas even if it has little relevance to the general election.

    Texas does not distribute delegates (5.00 / 1) (#33)
    by RalphB on Mon Mar 03, 2008 at 10:42:06 PM EST
    based on population alone.  They are based on the turnout for the Democrat in the past 2 elections.

    Texas Democratic Party doesn't do anything simply.


    I agree that Ohio is critical (none / 0) (#8)
    by riddlerandy on Mon Mar 03, 2008 at 10:12:14 PM EST
    to the Dems chances in November.

    I continue to be skeptical, however, about how much you read into one Dem beating another by 5 or 10 points in the primary.  What does that say about that candidate's chances of obtaining the votes of the other 2/3 of the voters in the General, or whether one candidate will do any better holding Dem votes than the other.  Has anyone actually seen any study on these correlations.

    My guess is that Hillary wins the popular vote in both states, and at best breaks even in delegates.  Leading to more uncertainty in the coming weeks.

    How is Hillary polling in the southeastern part (none / 0) (#15)
    by Angel on Mon Mar 03, 2008 at 10:26:31 PM EST
    of the state?  

    According to all the polls I see (5.00 / 1) (#21)
    by RalphB on Mon Mar 03, 2008 at 10:36:00 PM EST
    she's doing great in the southeastern part of Ohio.

    Texas used to be a reliable blue state (none / 0) (#18)
    by MikeDitto on Mon Mar 03, 2008 at 10:33:25 PM EST
    Not that it matters in the primary, at all. Despite the record turnouts across the country, the primaries have little to no predictive value for the general election. Even with these turnouts, it's still a tiny fraction of the number of people who will vote in the general election. So how Hillary or Obama do in any state, let alone a localized region of a state, is not going to say anything about November.

    Consider Colorado: Republicans and Democrats combined, we had something like 200,000 caucusers. We'll have something like 10 times that many people voting in the general. Primaries (even in extraordinary years like this one) are determined by people who will with almost 100% certainty vote in the general for their party's nominee. It's the other 90% you have to think about.

    And there's still reason to focus on TX in Nov. (none / 0) (#56)
    by MikeDitto on Tue Mar 04, 2008 at 08:34:44 AM EST
    The presidency is not the only race. We have House seats up for votes in every district in Texas, and the presidential race can help or hurt downticket. There's also a U.S. Senate race that some people think we have a chance at (personally I think it's pie-in-the-sky thinking).

    We also have a changed demographic. A lot of Katrina evacuees are still in Texas, which may embluen or possibly blue-ize the general electorate a tad. And the Latino vote continues to grow by leaps and bounds as well.


    Is this more... (none / 0) (#20)
    by mindfulmission on Mon Mar 03, 2008 at 10:35:42 PM EST
    ... of the spin in an attempt to minimize Clinton's loss in Texas?

    We can just add it to the many states that just don't matter.

    OMG, has she lost already? (5.00 / 3) (#30)
    by Democratic Cat on Mon Mar 03, 2008 at 10:41:35 PM EST
    I was under the impression votes would be counted tomorrow. My bad, I guess.

    it is not about Obama (5.00 / 2) (#31)
    by Kathy on Mon Mar 03, 2008 at 10:42:01 PM EST
    or Clinton, for that matter.  It is about DEMOCRATS taking back a state, and what the article says is that Ohio is much, much more likely to be a swing state than Texas, so why (other than the delegate count) is Texas getting so much focus?

    Now, if you want to make it about primaries, I think that the race is tightening so much, and Texas has such a large number of delegates at stake (and a population that arguably is more diverse than some of the states that we've seen in the last few weeks) that it matters as far as electability arguments, but not so much to Clinton as Obama.  TX would be his first "big" state win that wasn't his home state.  He needs to show super d's that he can take a big state.  Plus, he has outspent her two to one, or thereabouts, so the super d's need to see that his money advantage is, in fact, an advantage.


    Texas Delegate count's much more volatile. (none / 0) (#45)
    by Ben Masel on Mon Mar 03, 2008 at 11:22:33 PM EST

    The most recent general election poll out (none / 0) (#51)
    by tigercourse on Mon Mar 03, 2008 at 11:51:09 PM EST
    of Texas has Clinton performing 3 points better against McCain then Obama does.

    Yes, and she's only behind McCain by 4 points (none / 0) (#53)
    by jfung79 on Tue Mar 04, 2008 at 03:51:35 AM EST
    McCain only leads Hillary 50-46 in Texas, if we're thinking of the same poll (WFAA/Belo Tracking poll from a couple days ago).  He leads Obama 49-42.  

    So sorry if this Texan does not agree that Texas is "all but certain" to vote Republican in November!  


    TX=CA (none / 0) (#57)
    by riddlerandy on Tue Mar 04, 2008 at 08:53:02 AM EST
    At least for the presidential race.  If the Dems can win TX, it probably means they dont need it, because it is an indication they will enough swing states to win the election anyway -- the same as Cal for the GOP.

    On the other hand, with reapportionment coming up after 2008, the state races are very important, and a big push there is warranted on the ground alone