Archive for February 25th, 2014

Sums It Up

Commentary is not going to put out yesterday’s Early Vote numbers because they are included in the following Chron piece. One would think that if we are truly going to make a run for the state blue this year that some folks would kind of be warming up here in the state’s largest county. What do I know?

Name the baseball related movie with the most Academy Award nominations?

I don’t have a dog in the Uber and Lyft wanting to get into the H-Town market fight. I don’t know if they are needed. Here is what I don’t understand though. Why do we want to let these guys come in and rake in a bunch of dough and haul it off into the pockets of NoCal billionaires? It is not as if they are going to reinvest their profits in H-Town.

Yesterday I got a nice mailer from Kim Ogg.

Here is the Chron piece on voter turnout:

Turnout among Harris County Democrats is on track to be the lowest in three primary cycles, while area Republicans expect to be on par with the last non-presidential year and are eyeing a sharp uptick in mail-in balloting.

Voters who have not already requested a mail-in ballot can visit one of 39 early voting locations across the county through Friday. Harris County Clerk Stan Stanart warned many voters who wait until the March 4 primary election day “are going to be inconvenienced or upset.”

“For half of voters, it’s not going to be the same place you voted last November,” Stanart said, noting the county has a limited amount of equipment that has to be split among locations selected by each party.

As of Monday night, 51,784 voters cast ballots in both primaries, according to Stanart’s office. In the Republican primary, 23,530 voters cast ballots in person; another 13,573 have voted by mail. On the Democratic side, 10,210 people have voted in person, and 4,471 have cast mail-in ballots.

Through Sunday, Republicans have exceeded the early voting totals from the 2010 gubernatorial primary, he said. Compared to this point that year, in-person turnout is ahead by 7.5 percent and the number of returned mail ballots has shot up 44 percent.

During the last three primaries, about 20 percent of early ballots cast by county Republicans have been by mail.

Drop among Democrats

Democratic in-person voting is down about 27 percent, and mail-in ballots are down 13 percent from this point in 2010. Harris County Democratic Chairman Lane Lewis called his party’s turnout disappointing, but not surprising.

“We don’t have any really, really hotly contested top-of-the-ballot stuff like the Republicans do,” he said.

The Harris County Republican primary ballot includes 37 competitive races, excluding party positions. On the Democratic side, only 16 non-party races have more than one candidate.

Decisions by Republican statewide officeholders to change jobs sparked a shuffle that has created competitive openings for a variety of posts. Attorney General Greg Abbott is seeking higher office, and Comptroller Susan Combs is retiring. Nearly all Texas House and Senate seats have opened up, as well as a slew of local judicial posts.

It has lengthened the Republican ballot and led to additional campaign spending that can be linked to higher turnout in some areas.

Harris County Republican Party Chairman Jared Woodfill pointed to Clear Lake as an example of increased competition driving turnout. So far, more ballots have been cast at the Freeman Branch Library than the traditional party leader, the Kingwood Branch Library.

After Rep. Steve Stockman decided, along with six other Republicans, to challenge Sen. John Cornyn’s re-election efforts, 12 Republicans flooded into the Clear Lake area to campaign for the seat.

Similarly, seven candidates are vying for a Texas House seat vacated by roofing contractor John Davis after one term.

“There’s a lot of enthusiasm and energy for those particular races,” Woodfill said.

Mail-in ballot push

He attributed the jump in ballots cast by mail, however, to more aggressive efforts by political groups to connect eligible voters with that option.

“A lot of campaigns and bigger entities, like Conservative Republicans of Texas, have really racheted up their ballot-by-mail programs,” Woodfill said. “You’re going to see higher number voting by mail than you’ve ever seen in an election in Harris County.”

“The Pride of the Yankees” about Lou Gehrig starring Gary Cooper of course garnered eleven Oscar nominations.

I don’t have anything from The Yard.

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