It’s Chicago rules , baby.  Just because the Tea Party is/was supposedly “dead” doesn’t mean it can’t still drive election outcomes.

  • Gringo

    Dewhurst  is the Lieutenant Governor- the most powerful position in Texas state government. Like a lot of former Lieutenant Governors – think  the highly regarded William P. Hobby Jr. [1973-1991]-  Dewhurst is independently wealthy.
    Dewhurst spent a LOT of money on TV ads. I mean, a LOT.  From what I read, he dipped into his personal fortune to help pay for the ads. I do not watch TV at home, but several times in the past week I saw Dewhurst ads when visiting a friend. What are the chances of such random views? I got at least two Dewhurst mailings. The tone of the Dewhurst “public outreach”  was rather nasty.
    A friend is a blue dog Democrat who, disillusioned with Obama’s policy on the Keystone pipeline, might vote Pub this year. He had previously expressed a negative opinion about “outside influences” on the Pub Senate primary this year. I later asked him if he were going to vote in the Pub primary. His reply was that he had already voted. He said he  preferred “a country club Republican to a Teabagger.”
    When I see him next, I am going to ask him, “What does it say about you, that you would refer to a political opponent as a testicle-licker?” [At the time I didn’t want to get into a discussion]
    Turnout was greater in rural counties than in the city or suburban counties. Cruz did carry the big counties- Harris [Houston], Travis [Austin], Bexar [San Antonio], and Dallas. Would greater turnout have helped Dewhurst in the big counties?
    Cruz won counties in all parts of the state, from the Piney Woods to South Texas to  West Texas, both rural and urban. He didn’t fare well in the Panhandle and in the Permian Basin counties bordering New Mexico.
    BTW, Cruz is an Ivy Leaguer- Princeton & Harvard Law. By comparison to Obama’s performance at Harvard Law- Cruz clerked for Chief Justice Rehnquist after law school.

  • http://ruminationsroom.wordpress.com Don Quixote

    Thanks for the details, Gringo.

  • 94Corvette

    Living in Houston, I can fill in a few more details – Dewhurst went 24mil into his pocket (but repaid himself 5mil from contributions).  I have never seen such a bitter intra-party campaign ever.  This one made the Obama / Hillary contest look like a Sunday School picnic. 

    One of the more vile Dewhurst ads had the mother of a teen who committed suicide blame Cruz as Cruz had represented a businessman who had had an ‘arrangement’ to have offenders sentenced to a facility he owned. 

    Another ad stated that Cruz had been ‘lead counsel’ on a patent infringement appeal where the decision against a Chinese company was being appealed.  The ad stated that it was a ‘Texas’ company (when in reality it was another Chinese manufacturing plant that was owned by a Texan) that had had their idea stolen.  The Dewhurst campaign neglected to say that Cruz is just one of nearly 1,300 attorneys in the firm and that he had not argued the case.  
    Dewhurst has been ‘paying his dues’ as an establishment Republican for the past decades.  Many conservative Republicans here in the state have been dismayed at the way that he managed legislation during the past two sessions of our legislature. 

    National implications – I think that negative ads can be a definite turnoff – but don’t tell Obama.  We want change and we want someone we trust to be smart enough to get us out of this mess. 

  • Mike Devx

    Cruz won me over late, and I voted for him.  I did not vote in the original Primary, because I had no preference between the two.  But I decided as the ads unwound – and the bitterness intensified – that Dewhurst could not be trusted, and many of his ad claims were distorted.

    A year ago Cruz was hardly on the radar.  His popularity rose to the point of forcing the runoff.  And then it continued to rise, to the point where he clobbered Dewhurt, just CLOBBERED HIM.  If you get a 57%-43% Romney win over Obama, you’d celebrate!  That’s almost Reaganesque at HIS very height.

    The Tea Party took several other key victories in the Texas State House as well.

    More importantly, from what I hear, the Tea Party rolled over EVERYONE, Democrat and Republican, in Georgia.

    What I take from it, is that the trendy publicity-friendly Tea Party movers and shakers went away… but the grass roots Tea Party people most definitely did not go away.  *They* were always about locally organizing, and being effective locally.  They work under the radar.  They are the CEOs, the people who really focus on what makes something succeed, and they ALWAYS succeed.  (“You didn’t build that. Somebody else made that happen.”  HA! HA! HA!  Repeat: HA! HA! HA!)  These people brought their expertise to politics for the first time, and they are still down there in the trenches, utterly focused on political success.  They are totally, completely QUIET; they don’t beat their drum, they don’t put out press releases, they don’t do the kind of fund-raising and emails that you see every day.  They are engaging in politics in a way it simply has never done before, by their type of people: People who have spent their entire lives WINNING.  And now they are involved in politics for the first time ever.  They organize, they focus… and they WIN.  Period.

    It is truly breathtaking.  And I love it with every fiber and atom of my physical being that they are aligned with MY conservative fiscal beliefs.  I love it that the leftie liberals desperately seek to pretend the real Tea Party is dead.  I love it that the leftie liberals are so desperate to believe that, that they have convinced themselves it is true.  But it was never true.

    The Democrats spent all of 2010’s hot months, June-August, touting their “Recovery Summer”.  The media played along like the utter Democrat Whores that they are.  And by the time the Democrats woke up, it was too late.  The same thing appears to be happening this year.  Unfortunately, the STRENGTH of this Tea Party late-July election event may wake the Democrats up just barely in time.  One more month, and it would have been too late!  But they now have this extra month, should the blinders fall from their eyes.  I am hoping that their need for denial is too great.  I am hoping they can fool themselves just for one more month.

    Can you tell I am ecstatic!  It is a great week.

  • Mike Devx

    I’d like to add a few more thoughts about *why* these very quiet, very effective, locally organized Tea Party people are what we call winners.

    1. Throughout their whole lives, they never make the same mistake twice.  Sure, they make mistakes; that’s human.  But when they do make mistakes, they LEARN from it.

    2. They deal with facts; they live in reality.  They’re not interested in getting along to go along.  They don’t parrot ANYONE’s party line, not even any conservative party line.  They couldn’t care less what all the bloggers have chosen to talk about as the issue of the day, be it liberal OR conservative.  They didn’t get involved so they could pat each others’ backs.  They see the long-term devastation that is coming, and they decided to get involved to try to stop it from happening.  And that is all they care about.

    3. They are long-term oriented.  That is their culture.  The very idea that people like this would just give up and go away after 2010 is laughable and ludicrous.  One year of wide-eyed enthusiasm… is an utterly alien concept to this kind of person.  They’re in it for the long haul.  2012 is just one step among many, many steps.  This is their first presidential election year.  The rules are different compared to an off-year like 2010.  If they make mistakes because of that, you can bet they won’t make the same mistakes in 2016.  2016 isn’t their end game either.  2020 isn’t their end game.  They are in for the long haul.

    4. One of their greatest skills is what sets them apart from the rest of us: They are skilled at drawing the correct conclusions based on limited data.  Any of us can draw the right conclusions when given overwhelming evidence.  But the reason some people are winners where the rest of us aren’t – at least not to the same extent – is the wisdom of knowning the correct answer, or the correct action, based on fewer or more ambiguous data points.  They don’t fool themselves, and they are skilled at drawing the right conclusions.

    5. They are completely apolitical.  Something happened in 2009 to cause them to seek each other out, to band together into a team to focus their vision, for the first time ever, upon the political arena.  Politics is the instrument, and the playing field. They will USE it in the manner they need to, but at their core, it is about results; it is not about politics itself.  They’re not Republicans, they’re not Democrats.  They are interested in changing the way the political game is played.

    Like I said, they’ve never been focused on the political arena before.  Now they are.  And they’ve banded together as a team.

    I am generalizing, I’m sure; But I am equally sure that there is a great deal of truth to the generalization.  It is a fascinating thing to watch.  I am not one of them.  But if I see them for who they are, these quiet, unassuming, dedicated, thoroughly patriotic Americans… I am 100% behind them, cheering them on.  

  • http://ymarsakar.wordpress.com Ymarsakar

    If people think it is bad now, you ain’t seen nothing yet. Wait until you see the true nature of the Left and what they have in store for humanity.

  • Texan99

    Dewhurst is a long-time Texas establishment favorite.  On the campaign trail, he makes the same conservative noises as Cruz:  repeal Obamacare, strengthen border security, rein in the EPA, treat global warming with a grain of salt, etc.  But his reputation in the Texas legislature (where the lieutenant governor is very powerful) is that he’ll compromise any principle to get a deal done.  Cruz, in contrast, says most conservatives get in backwards, in that they talk fire and brimstone against their opponents but then roll over in votes.  He thinks we should pursue affability in our relations across the aisle, but hold firm on votes on matters of principle.  I’m not sure he’s had a chance to show any affability yet, but I believe he’ll show a lot of backbone on votes.  He is ideological.

    Cruz was a champion debater at Princeton with a powerful personal story of parents who escaped Cuba with $100 sewn into his father’s clothing, a former Texas solicitor general with a string of courtroom successes on hardline conservative principles, including 9 cases argued before the U.S. Supreme Court.  He got Jim DeMint’s all-important endorsement many months ago.  When in doubt, I always take DeMint’s word for it, and I typically will send a small check just about every time I get an email from him asking for support for any candidate, in Texas or elsewhere.  His fund-raising system has done wonders for strong conservative candidates, including Tea Partiers.

    Dewhurst had the strong support of Gov. Rick Perry and a surprising number of conservative groups.  I hoped and believed Cruz would win, but I never imagined he’d stomp such a mudhole in the establishment’s darling.  Now John Cornyn finds himself the wobbly one in the Texas delegation!  Who would have thought.

    And I hear Cruz served Chick-Fil-A at his victory party.