Tom Jensen makes a pretty decent observation about Texas winger Ted Cruz beating Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst by 10 points last night in the GOP primary: Gov. Rick Perry just got pwnt.
David Dewhurst is obviously the biggest loser in the Texas Senate election tonight. When we first polled a hypothetical runoff match up between him and Ted Cruz the week before the primary, he led 59-34. In just over two months he managed to turn that into a pretty substantial defeat.
There’s another big loser tonight though and it has major implications for Texas politics looking toward 2014: Rick Perry.
Our final pre-election poll on this race found that two times more Texas Republicans considered an endorsement from Rick Perry to be a negative than a positive. 35% said they were less likely to vote for a candidate endorsed by Perry, 15% said they were more likely to, and 50% said they didn’t care either way. Dewhurst’s choice to spotlight his support from Perry so heavily is curious against the backdrop of those numbers.
The result tonight provides real world evidence of something that we’ve been finding in our polling for a while now: that Perry’s standing has been significantly diminished in Texas after his failed White House bid and that he could be in serious trouble if he tries for another term in 2014.
Even the losers are bigger in Texas, it seems. The Governor Goodhair show has imploded. Chuck Pierce has more on that.
This is a guy who believes that Sharia law is “an enormous problem” in the country today. This is a guy who believes that George Soros is at the bottom of a secret United Nations plot to eliminate… golf. (Here, of course, Cruz is immersing himself in the paranoid Bircher fantasies regarding our old pal, Agenda 21.) This is a guy who’s a nullifier, thereby putting himself on the opposite side of the Constitution not only from Barack Obama, but from Sam Houston, for chrissakes. This is the guy that a majority of Republicans in Texas believe should represent them in the Senate and they said so, not once, but twice. They wanted a crackpot. They got a crackpot. The real power driving this election wanted them to have a crackpot, so it gave them a crackpot.
Cruz seems to strike me as even more insane than Perry, and if that’s what it takes to win a GOP primary in Texas in 2012, I’m thinking the blue date for the state may get moved up by an election cycle or two.
You know, unless the GOP just decides to outlaw brown people.