Could 1990 Texas Governors Race Foretell a Surprise Win for Hillary There?
October 24, 2016

 
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In 1990, Texas Democratic gubernatorial nominee (Ann Richards) was far behind her Republican rival (Billionaire industrialist Clayton Williams). Then he made a sexist “joke” that wildly offended women voters and everything changed. The similarities of that race bear a striking similarity to what is currently happening in the race for president between Trump & Clinton, and could very well explain why in Texas of all places, the race for president is almost a statistical tie.

Not many people outside of Texas remember the 1990 race for governor, and even then, you must be of a certain age (or a hard-core political junkie) to know what happened.

Briefly, then Texas Treasurer… a former school teacher named Ann Richards (“the motorcycle-riding grandma”) was elected the Democratic nominee for governor of Texas in 1990 following a tight & bruising Democratic primary that went to a runoff. Meanwhile, the Republican nominee… Billionaire (or was it just “multimillionaire”?) industrialist Clayton Williams won the Republican nomination in a walk by nearly 50 points (deja vu already). Williams led Richards almost the entire race. There was little question the former Texas oilman turned telecommunications magnate (remember, this is before the Internet or cellphones) would win easily in a deep red state like Texas.

Then, just weeks before the election, Williams was caught on tape repeating a “joke” to friends first told by controversial college basketball coach Bobby Knight:
 

“Rape is like a thunderstorm. If it’s inevitable, [the woman should] just relax and enjoy it.” (laughter)

 

Texas women were outraged, and Williams didn’t make things better by trying to defend his remarks as “just a joke” (only apologizing once it was far too late.) They showed up en masse on election day to vote against Williams (early voting had already begun in the state, possibly keeping the result closer than it might have been otherwise), giving Richards a narrow 2.5% victory over Williams to become the Democratic governor of Texas (which, BTW, was incredibly common before George W Bush.)

    So you have a race between a Billionaire Republican who is the heavy favorite to defeat a Democratic woman for high office in Texas. Then the Republican frontrunner is caught “joking” about rape less than a month before the election. Outraged women voters (and many men) turn up on election day with the express intention of defeating the Republican nominee, and in a surprise reversal, the Democrat ends up winning Texas in a race she was all but certain to lose the month before.

Does any of that sound familiar?

Today, we see history repeating itself. Another Republican billionaire expected to win the deep red state of Texas easily, only to make one too many sexist remarks (after already deeply offending Hispanics… who nearly make up the largest demographic in the state now), and suddenly, the state of Texas… second only to California in number of Electoral votes and a state no Republican can win without… is in play.

But truly, what are the chances of someone like Hillary Clinton winning here? (I’m in Houston.) It has always bothered me when people brand Texas as “the reddest of Red States”, unfathomably out of reach of any Democrat (actually, Utah & Oklahoma are far redder than Texas.) As a matter of fact before Nixon in ’72 (and his racist “Southern Strategy”), the state of Texas only voted Republican in the presidential race ONCE in its entire history. And after getting burned by “Tricky Dick”, it went Democratic (not “blue”, Democrats were “red” that year) again, voting for Carter in 1976. When in comes to the governor’s race, the state has been likewise consistently Blue its entire history, only going deep red recently.

The capital of Texas… Austin… a big college town, is a Liberal oasis in the red state, whose unofficial motto is “Keep Austin weird.” And Houston… the 4th largest city in the country (and rapidly gaining on #3 Chicago)… is the largest city in the country to have elected (and then RE-elected) an openly gay mayor (Democrat Annice Parker), who was recently succeeded by another Democrat (Sylvester Turner). In Houston, Republican mayors are the exception.

As I’ve pointed out on here several times, Al Gore actually WON the city of Houston… “within the city limits”… in the 2000 election, only losing the city once the majority white suburban vote was factored in.

The Dallas Morning News broke with tradition last month and endorsed Hillary Clinton for president, calling Trump’s values “hostile to conservatism” (which has me wondering if they too view Clinton as a “Closet Conservative”?)

Back in July, The Houston Chronicle also endorsed Hillary Clinton over Donald Trump.

Between outraged Hispanics, Blacks, and now women uniting to defeat Donald Trump, it is amazing he hasn’t already lost the state. But the GOP has been working hard to decimate education since before Ronald Reagan appointed Bill “Place yer bets” Bennett… an outspoken advocate of abolishing the Dept of Education… to RUN the Dept of Education, ensuring voters stay dumb and reactionary. Terrified of their own shadow, President Obama was correct when he described these voters as “clinging to their guns & religion“… talismans of protection (which always made me wonder just how strong ones faith truly is if they feel they also need a gun for protection?)… eager to elect those who agree with their paranoia. And if there’s one word that describes Donald J Trump, it’s “paranoid” (the Mexicans are crossing the border to commit crimes. Muslims are entering the country to kill you. “The Media is colluding against me to help Hillary.” “These unattractive women all accusing me of sexual misconduct are all liars working for Hillary.” and “The election is rigged”.)

In any case, the state of Texas is now in play. And while I highly doubt Texas will turn Blue on November 8th, Trump is only another offensive video away from wildly offending another demographic that decides to make sure he goes down in defeat this election.

Early voting in Texas begins today, Monday October 24th, giving him time to bank enough Republican votes before he’s caught on tape saying something like he “supports gun control” and wants to “raise taxes to provide everyone with healthcare.”

Then again, that might only help him attract ambivalent Texas Democrats that also distrust Hillary.
 

Highlights from Richards famous 1988 DNC Convention speech that made her a favorite for the 1990 Democratic Gubernatorial nomination and painted a huge target on her back to be defeated by Bush Jr. four years later:
 

 


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October 24, 2016 · Admin Mugsy · One Comment - Add
Posted in: Election, Partisanship, Politics, Right-Wing Insanity, Scandals

Comments
  • Nathan Fleischman October 26, 2016 at 8:40 PM

    No wonder Texas is so close.

     
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