That whole thing last week about Texas being declared a swing state? Yeah, not so much. Real Clear Politics has adjusted it back to "Leans Trump," thanks to this poll conducted for the Austin American-Statesman. It has Trump ahead of Clinton by 7 percentage points even without Jill Stein.
Wait, "without Jill Stein"? And then you try to make it look like your Crosswind/Pulse polling crew decided all on their own to omit her? I know it's a cliché, but...Statesman, you're fired.
Nonetheless, RCP shows Clinton close to the 270 electoral votes required for victory, especially after putting Pennsylvania back in her column.
I don't know how much confidence one can put in a poll of 800 respondents, with so many of them undecided even with early voting underway, and one of the names on the ballot not included. But the folks at RCP have deemed it worthy.
Chuck Kuffner has some musings on the Statesman results here.
Yeah, I'll be doing it too, but mostly my reportage on 8-9 November will focus on how 160 #DownTicketGreens fare in their federal and state elections, as well as some county races in Texas.
US Senate (11)
Gary Swing, Arizona
Pamela Elizondo, California
Don MacLeay, also California
Arn Menconi, Colorado
Jeff Russell, Connecticut
Scott Summers, Illinois
Margaret Flowers, Maryland
Jonathan McFarland, Missouri
Robin Laverne Wilson, New York
Joe DeMare, Ohio
Eric Navickas, Oregon
US House (45)
Ray Parrish, AZ-1
Mark Salazar, AZ-8
Barry Hermanson, CA-12
Paula Bradshaw, IL-12
Nnabu Eze, MD-3
Kamesha Clark, MD-4
George Gluck, MD-6
Myles Hoenig, MD-7
Nancy Wallace, MD-8
Ellis Boal, MI-1
Matthew A. Brady, MI-2
Harley Mikkelson, MI-5
Maria Green, MI-8
John V. McDermott, MI-9
Benjamin Nofs, MI-10
Dylan Calewarts, MI-12
Marcia Squier, MI-14
David Arnold, MO-2
Mike Diel, MO-6
Steven Welzer, NJ-12
Frank Sha Francois, NY-5
Henry Bardel, NY-11
Daniel Vila Rivera, NY-13
Matt Funiciello, NY-21
Joe Manchik, OH-12
Dennis Lambert, OH-15
Mike Bielstein, OR-4
Prince Mallory, SC-6
Joshua Darr, TX-2
Paul Blair, TX-3
Darrel Smith Jr., TX-6
Rusty Tomlinson, TX-13
Vanessa S. Tijerina, TX-15
Mary L. Gourdoux, TX-16
Thomas Kleven, TX-18
Mark Lawson, TX-19
Paul Pipkin, TX-20
Antonio Diaz, TX-21
Kevin McCormick, TX-24
Michael D. Cary, TX-28
James Partsch-Galvan, TX-29
Thom Prentice, TX-30
Gary Stuard, TX-32
Scott Trimble, TX-35
Hal J. Ridley Jr., TX-36
State Senate Seats (17)
Angel Torres, AZ, District 27
Chris Taylor, CT, District 23
Cora Santaguida, CT, District 27
Don Alexander, CT, District 30
Colin Bennett, CT, District 33
Ed Heflin, CT, District 36
Kealoha Pisciotta, HI, District 3
Seth Baker, ME, District 27
Andy Schuler, MN, District 45
Edward Weissler, MO, District 3
Julia Willebrand, NY, District 31
Carl Lundgren, NY, District 34
Joseph Levy, NY, District 43
Deyva Arthur, NY, District 44
Scott West, SC, District 20
Scott Pusich, TX, District 26
Bruce Breuninger, WV, District 11
State House/Assembly Seats (61)
Haryaksha Knauer, District 1
Edward "Trey" Cizek, District 3
Leo Biasiucci, District 5
Linda Macias, District 18
Cara Nicole Trujillo, District 26
Robert Lee Worthey, District 6
Jenice "JJ" Dove, District 34
Ian Barron, District 35
Lauren Shaw, District 38
Cindy Day, District 67
Matt Went, District 84
Angela Capinera, District 122
Hector Lopez, District 125
Bonnie Troy, District 135
Nick Nikhilananda, District 13
Russell Hoskins, District 40
Charlene DiCalogero, District 12
Daniel Factor, District 14
Dan Finn, District 4
Artelia Marie Leak, District 29
Eric Borregard, District 52
Joseph Stevens, District 53
John Anthony La Pietra, District 63
Michael Anderson, District 70
Deena Marie Bruderick, District 83
Cliff Yankovich, District 86
Wade Roberts, District 109
Dennis Barsness, District 5B
Gabe Barnett, District 60A
Valorie Engholm, District 19
Teressa Ezell, District 80
Tim Hammack, District 106
Ellen Skiljan, District 109
Dr. Robert Debbaut, District 140
Joseph Naham, District 20
Steve Ruzbacki, District 45
Patrick Dwyer, District 46
Manny Cavaco, District 65
Ann Eagan, District 69
Donal Butterfield, District 73
Scott Hutchins, District 74
Daniel Zuger, District 85
Robin Harkenhagen, District 114
Jeffery Peress, District 135
Constance Gadell-Newton, District 18
Alex Polikoff, District 23
Joe Rowe, District 44
Gabe Lytle, District 60
Michael Bagdes-Canning, District 64
Jay Sweeney, District 117
Adam Michael Greeley, District 46
katija assana gruene, District 51
Emmett Merwin, District 70
Travis Christal, District 92
Joseph McElligott, District 127
Brian M. Harrison, District 147
Rodney T. Hytonen, District 7
Elizabeth Rhule, District 36
Chris Reed, District 39
Alan Balogh, District 43
Barbara Daniels, District 44
State Executive Offices (11)
Tim Curtin, State Comptroller, IL
Don Fitz, Governor, MO
Jennifer Leach, Lieutenant Governor, MO
Carol Hexem, State Treasurer, MO
Alan Zundel, Secretary of State, OR
Kristin Combs, State Treasurer, PA
Jay Sweeney, Auditor General, PA
Martina Salinas, Railroad Commission, TX
Hugo Noyola Jr., State Board of Education, District 1, TX
Charlotte Pritt, Governor, WV
Michael Sharley, Attorney General, WV
State Judicial Offices (5)
Rodolfo Rivera Muñoz, TX Supreme Court, Place 3
Charles Waterbury, TX Supreme Court, Place 5
Jim Chisolm, TX Supreme Court, Place 9
Adam "Bulletproof" King Blackwell Reposa, TX Court of Criminal Appeals, Place 2
Judith Sanders-Castro, TX Court of Criminal Appeals, Place 5
Bexar County (San Antonio)
James Dorsey, Sheriff
Diana Kendall, Justice of the Peace, Pct. 2, Place 3
Dallas County (Dallas)
J.C. Osborne, Sheriff
Ona Marie Hendricks, County Commissioner, Pct. 3
William R. Barr, Criminal Court #4
Travis County (Austin)
Debbie Russell, Sheriff
Ashely "Flashe" Gordon, County Commissioner, Pct. 1
Webb County (Laredo)
Arturo Limon II, Sheriff
Santiago Santos, County Commissioner, Pct. 3
Luis F. Decker, Justice of the Peace, Pct. 2, Place 1
It didn't quite happen as envisioned, but it happened. Some of us Harris County Greens convinced Ajamu Baraka and his mini-entourage to travel to the Palm Center early voting site after Baraka's campaign appearance at TSU's Thurgood Marshall School of Law Saturday afternoon.
Kayleen originally wanted us to hike to the MetroRail stop and ride the Purple Line to Palm Center, but then she opted for the convenience factor. Driving there made it easier for us to take Baraka and his two assistants back to their hotel afterward.
Voting traffic was slow and steady on Saturday afternoon, nothing like a typical Sunday of early voting, but we did get to talk to some folks. Although they're accustomed to seeing candidates visiting their polling places, some of those folks found it difficult to comprehend that they were talking with an actual vice-presidential nominee from a nationwide party.
David Cobb and I agree on a lot. That's partly because, over the years, he has educated me on many topics and preached intersectionality before most of us even had a word for it. We were in agreement before we even met: In the 1990s, we were both independently working to organize a Green Party in Harris County.
One thing on which Cobb and I have recently agreed is that Caity Johnstone rocks our respective worlds.
Ms. Johnstone, who has been contributing to Inquisitr almost daily of late, is a converted Sandernista. As a progressive voter, she jumped on the Bernie bandwagon early, rejected Hillary Clinton's candidacy for a host of reasons, and switched her allegiance to Jill Stein and the Greens when it became clear that Sen. Sanders would not get the Democrats' nod. Here's her piece from Thursday on the revelation that Jill Stein has her money in some not-100%-green funds.
ZOMG. Hide your kids, hide your wife.
My humble and sincere apologies for not posting this information sooner on this blog. I may have mentioned a few weeks ago that Green Vice Presidential nominee Ajamu Baraka had some undefined plans for visiting Dallas and Houston on or about 28-29 October. Those plans solidified this past weekend: He'll be appearing at UT-Dallas Friday and Texas Southern University's prestigious Thurgood Marshall School of Law on Saturday afternoon.
The Texas mini-tour is not even on jill2016.com as of this writing: The Events page just mentions that Baraka will be at Jackson State University (in Mississippi) this morning. It was PDiddie who reminded me that this is blogworthy news indeed.
Law professor and Congressional candidate Thomas Kleven will be speaking as well, and possibly some other #DownTicketGreens.
Palm Center Memories
One thing that I can report as an exclusive is that Kayleen came up with the idea of having Baraka visit the early voting site at Palm Center Saturday afternoon, either before or after his TSU appearance. We passed it on to the local Greens tasked with handling his ground logistics. There's no definite word on whether he will make a side-trip to court voters at Palm Center, and I'm a tad pessimistic.
Palm Center is a mostly vacant '50s-era shopping center on Griggs Road at MLK Boulevard. Most of its occupancy now is county offices, including a Tax Assessor-Collector annex and the headquarters of the Precinct 7 Constable, as well as the Post Office for 77021 and a branch of Houston Public Library. It is also the terminus of the Purple Line for MetroRail, and as such it is undergoing a transit-oriented renaissance of sorts.
The best day to drop by Palm Center is the only Sunday afternoon of the early voting period, when mostly African American voters from the surrounding area (Third Ward, South Park, South Union, Sunnyside) show up in their Sunday finest and turn the place into a righteous celebration of The Franchise.
We won't talk about that Sunday four years ago when Sheila Jackson Lee's team showed up at Palm Center and encouraged people to "just vote straight Democrat," which would have deprived them of the opportunity to vote not only for Greens in races with no Democratic candidate, but to vote for or against the $2 billion-dollar HISD bond package.
We also won't talk about how profoundly that experience soured me on SJL and made me want to run against her in 2014—which I didn't end up doing, but Remington Alessi did, the first time the Green Party challenged the allegedly progressive Democrat in District 18.
Nope. I won't say a word about any of that.
I'll believe it when I see it on 9 November. Well, I'm not sure I will believe it then either.
As analysts such as Glenn Greenwald and Redacted Tonight's Lee Camp have done, I shall preface the remainder of this post with a disclaimer:
In no way whatsoever does any of the following verbiage mean or imply that I have any desire to see that overstuffed egomaniac pro wrestling villain Donald Trump installed in the White House.
You may have seen the news that Real Clear Politics has just moved Texas out of the Leans Trump category and into Toss-Up. Even with two weeks left before Election Day, I believe that call is premature. A few recent polls show Trump's lead in Texas within their respective margins of error. But I'm not too confident in the ways some of those polls were conducted. (Really, CBS? 17% of Millennials voting Johnson, but just 1% voting Stein?)
Perry Dorrell at Brains and Eggs has posted his choices for the 2016 General Election, and his preferences for other districts in Harris County. At the top of his list is one race in which he chooses not to vote at all: US House District 7.
PDiddie's main reason for not supporting Democrat James Cargas, in the absence of a Green candidate in that race, is reducible to one word: fracking. Cargas, an energy attorney, is a founder of Texas Oilpatch Democrats.
The Houston Chronicle actually endorsed Democrat Cargas in TX-7. This is Cargas's third attempt at knocking off incumbent John Culberson, the heir in that district to the redoubtable Bill Archer. Culberson is the only local incumbent Congressperson not to receive the Chron's endorsement. A list of the paper's other endorsements can be found here (digital subscription may be required). The Chron seems to have omitted TX-36 from their consideration—but then, I've been known to forget about 36 myself.
By tradition, the Chronicle's editorial board is moderately conservative, but more interested in fostering good government than in drowning government in a bathtub. Last week the editorial board spilt a lot of ink explaining, in five languages, its endorsement of Hillary Clinton, a far more conservative position than endorsing billionaire loose cannon and serial groper Donald J. Trump. In a noteworthy endorsement last month, the Chronicle also recommended Libertarian Mark Miller for the Railroad Commission.
The Houston LGBT Political Caucus has its list up as well. As usual, it is heavily Democratic. If the Harris County Green Party wants a nod from the Caucus, it will need to educate future Green candidates about the Caucus's policy of not endorsing any candidate who does not apply for the endorsement. I made the mistake of forgetting that in 2014. In fact many political organizations have a similar policy: Having a candidate say publicly, "Sorry, but I don't really want the endorsement you just gave me" can be acutely embarrassing.
As early voting begins today in Harris County and around the state, I would like to issue a reminder about Straight Party voting:
Don't Do It!
More specifically, don't just walk up to the voting machine, enter your PIN, push a button to vote for the party of your preference, and have done with it. If you do, here is what it means:
Early voting begins Monday 24 October in Harris County and much of Texas. So it's time to whip out some completely unsurprising endorsements for my dozen or so readers.
The main point that I want to highlight in this post is my support for non-Green candidates in Harris County. There may be some Greens who vote a straight Green ticket and walk out, but I don't know any. Many of us push buttons for Democrats in local, district, and even statewide races.
Folks are seizing upon this poll from the University of Houston's Hobby School of Public Affairs as an indicator that the presidential race in Texas will be much closer than anticipated. Some even believe that Clinton will make up the difference in the next three weeks. The numbers may be correct, but if you've been following other polls, there's plenty of reason to doubt it.
In fact, there are reasons to doubt whether many of the poll results reported are accurate at all.
Blogging Sporadically since 2014
Here you will find political campaign-related entries, as well as some about my literature, Houston underground arts, peace & justice, urban cycling, soccer, alt-religion, and other topics.