What's also cool is that Alex Briseño's article is informative, without an apparent agenda of ridiculing or marginalizing the Green and Libertarian Parties. Way too many politically aware Texans don't know a lot about what it's like to run a third party or as a third-party candidate, let alone all the particulars of what has happened in this intensely weird year 2020.
Bust That Myth
I have to wonder, though, if major papers will ever put aside this mythology about Libertarians draining votes from Republicans and Greens from Democrats. Did Briseño include those words in the article he submitted, or did a news editor add them in because there's a rule that all articles in US papers about third parties must include those words at least twice?
- I agree with the Green platform and despise the dude/dudette at the top of the Democratic ticket, but I have to vote for the Democrats because the Republicans suck even more!
- I'm voting Green, full stop, because the Democrats suck just as hard as the Republicans!
If everyone who preferred the Greens' platform and Ten Key Values to the Democratic Party's neoliberal agenda actually voted Green, the Greens would have a lot more candidates winning 10% or more statewide. Compare that to the low single-digit percentages we normally get in Texas in races with both major parties represented.
Polling at 2%? News to Me
Like Briseño's article, I'm burying what could (and probably should) be the lead. Amazingly (to me, at least), this article was the first time I'd seen the numbers from last month's DMN/UT Tyler poll on the US Senate race:
John Cornyn 39%
M.J. Hegar 28%
Kerry McKennon 3%
David B. Collins 2%
I've come to know better than to expect those numbers to hold firm through Election Day. In September 2016, Jill Stein had nationwide Quinnipiac numbers as high as 6%, but ended up with just over 1%—and that's just one example. Still, I'll remain optimistic and chant some kind of mantra that resembles the Sanskrit phrase for "two percent," the magic number for retaining ballot access for the Greens.
What is likely to hold is the percentage-point margin between Cornyn and Hegar, give or take a couple of points. Give Hegar credit for one thing, though, despite her paper-thin platform: She has a certain charisma that the Democrats' 2018 nominee for governor, Sheriff Lupe Valdez, lacked. So despite Hegar's relative neophyte status, I don't see her losing by 13% like Valdez.
Pollsters, thank you for including Green and Libertarian candidates in your surveys. Not that I want everything at once, but how hard would it be to expand you party ID questions to include those parties as choices? As in...