At the beginning of 2016, some of us Green Regulars in Texas put our heads together and determined that Railroad Commission candidate Martina Salinas would be the Party's best hope of obtaining 5% of the vote in the general election this year. That 5% would secure the Green Party's ballot access for 2018. She received 3.26% in a four-way contest, 285,558 votes, which in Green circles in this very red state is pretty phenomenal.
Salinas does actually work full-time, as a construction inspector (not supervisor, as previously reported), and thus she did not have much time or money to assemble a full campaign infrastructure. She used a Facebook page for web presence rather than constructing a website (or paying somebody to make one) with her own domain. She did travel some, including a few trips to Houston and reconnecting with her fan base in the Rio Grande Valley. She did have some yard signs made.
Imagine how Salinas might have done if she'd been able to devote more time and resources to the campaign. Her Libertarian opponent Mark Miller, a retired oil & gas guy, finished with 5.27% and unlocked ballot access for the LP.
But this post is about how Salinas performed, compared to Green presidential nominee Jill Stein statewide and in various counties. Stein, with running-mate Ajamu Baraka, improved her 2012 vote total to 71,307, or 0.79% in Texas. That's a good showing for a presidential ticket and a party with almost no major network exposure, but it's not Martina Salinas good.
Some 2016 Stein & Salinas Election Trivia
In a nutshell, the Green Party and its candidates do better where there is (a) lots of brown-skinned folks living in poverty, (b) a corrupt Democratic Party establishment, (c) important natural resources that people feel a need to protect, or d) any combination of (a), (b), and (c).
A very smart friend, a young man of European heritage, recently asserted on Facebook that the Greens only resonate with white folks, so he had no interest in helping such a party. I told him that the delegates to our national convention included many black and brown folks, and that in Texas our biggest support is in the Valley. He said he drew his conclusion from historical evidence, while I was trafficking in anecdotes. Riiiiight. In retrospect, I should have tagged Martina Salinas, Rodolfo Rivera Muñoz, and all my African American, LatinX, and Asian American comrades who identify as Greens, then asked him to repeat his assertion.
Doctora Jill Estaín
For whatever reasons, as passionate as Jill Stein's supporters are in the Lone Star State, her Harvard-trained physician/mother on fire persona doesn't translate as well here, or to as many people, as candidates with names like Salinas (3.26%), Rivera Muñoz (2.66%), or Sanders-Castro (2.20%). What reasons would you point to?
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.