Archive for September 19th, 2014

Our hitting against Cleveland the last four games was anemic. That’s why we lost three out of four. Last season, our batters led MLB in strikeouts with 1,535 followed by the Twins with 1,430. This season we are second with 1,364. Name the team with the most strikeouts this season?

The gubernatorial debate is this evening in Edinburg. The Chron and Star Telegram have lengthy pieces today on the Latino vote and the campaign strategies.

It looks like AG Abbott is spending more on Spanish language TV ads. He has spent over a mil statewide. Team Davis has spent $280,000. Here in H-Town, AG Abbott has been on the air on local Univision and Telemundo for over a couple of weeks or so. Team Davis is not and Harris County alone has over 400,000 Latino voters. We also have a significant number of Latino voters in neighboring communities. Tsk, tsk, tsk!

AG Abbott also says he wants at least half of the Latino vote. Only in your dreams. That’s never going to happen. The best you can hope for is a low Latino voter turnout.

In a statewide campaign, if you are going to air English ads, doesn’t it make sense to also run the proportionate number of Spanish language ads? And then they ask afterwards why Latinos didn’t turnout. It is the same old song if you ask me. Here is the Chron piece by Mike Ward and Peggy Fikac:

A decision by Democrat Wendy Davis and Republican Greg Abbott to have their first face¬off in the Rio Grande Valley on Friday illustrates the importance of the state’s Latino vote, which she must secure to be competitive in the governor’s race and he must attract to help secure his party’s future.

The battle for that vote, however, stretches far beyond the predominantly Hispanic Valley to Texas’ urban areas, which together have more than twice as many Latino registered voters for the wooing.

“If you want to appeal to Hispanic voters in Texas, you have to appeal to them in every part of the state. You can’t just look at it geographically. You have to be on the border, and you have to be in the urban centers,” said Matt Angle, a longtime Davis adviser who is director of the pro-Democratic Lone Star Project.

Along with looking at issues, Republican media consultant Lionel Sosa said Latino voters are looking for “a candidate who knows and understands the community.”

“Latinos put family first, they work hard, they like opportunity, personal responsibility, they have a strong work ethic,” Sosa said. “Smaller government and lower taxes are also appealing – everyone likes that – but what Latinos will ask is: Do I know you, do I understand you, can I feel what you feel?”

Davis, a state senator from Fort Worth, and Abbott, the state attorney general, are working to win Latino votes with campaign stops, personal outreach by staff and volunteers, social media efforts and Spanish-language advertising.

“The Hispanic vote has been a very important part of our campaign from the start,” said Abbott campaign spokesman Matt Hirsch.

Abbott has spent more than $1.1 million to air Spanish-language commercials since August and to reserve airtime in October, according to figures based on public records for broadcast television buys in particular markets.

He is up in Spanish in Houston, San Antonio, Dallas-Fort Worth, Austin, El Paso and the Valley. He made a splash in June with a commercial on Spanish-language networks as his first statewide ad – a small buy that ran during the World Cup.

Besides the more conventional campaign tactics, Hirsch cited the oft-noted point that Abbott’s wife, Cecilia, is from San Antonio and would be the first Hispanic first lady of Texas if he is elected.

“Greg Abbott’s ties to the Hispanic community in Texas are strong,” he said.

Angle discounted Abbott’s promotion of his family ties.

“I’m sure his wife is a nice woman,” he said, “but it’s an awful burden to her to expect her, all on her own, to deliver the Hispanic vote for him when in the meantime every policy position he holds is hostile to Hispanic voters.”

Davis campaign adviser James Aldrete predicted the Davis campaign will win “six to seven out of every 10 Hispanic votes. Hispanics are both a fundamental part of Texas’ history and increasingly the face of Texas future. And we’re making outreach – on the ground and over the airwaves – a priority.

“I don’t think there’s any doubt Hispanics are a key part of any Democratic victory,” Aldrete said. “Just as ignoring Hispanics has long-term electoral consequences for Republicans.”

Davis has spent about $283,000 for spots on Spanish-language channels, with the majority of it so far in El Paso and the rest in the Rio Grande Valley, according to publicly available figures. She also has been up in Laredo and Corpus Christi.

Latinos are a focus because they are an ever-growing part of the population, but their turnout has lagged.

In 2010, Texas ranked dead last nationally in voter turnout, even behind Washington, D.C., according to a study by the Annette Strauss Institute for Civic Life at the University of Texas at Austin and the National Conference on Citizenship.

Turnout among Hispanics was particularly low. The study found that 43.8 percent of Anglo Texans reported voting in 2010, compared to 38.7 percent of African-Americans and 23.1 percent of Hispanics.

A larger Latino turnout is key to the chance at victory that Davis supporters see for her uphill campaign. She is trailing Abbott by anywhere from 8 to 18 percentage points, according to various publicly reported polls.

There were nearly 2.1 million registered Latino voters in 10 large Texas counties as of mid-July, according to internal voter data maintained by Democrats. More than 924,000 did not vote in any of the previous three general elections. The figures do not differentiate among Republicans and Democrats.

Of the total registered Latino voters, more than 602,000 were in South Texas’ Cameron, Hidalgo, Nueces and Webb counties. Another 1.2 million were in Bexar, Dallas, Harris, Tarrant and Travis combined – with Bexar containing more than 412,000, and Harris nearly 400,000. The border county of El Paso had nearly 279,000.

Reaching such voters could be significant. The 2010 Democratic gubernatorial candidate, former Houston Mayor Bill White, lost to Republican Gov. Rick Perry by more than 631,000 votes among nearly 5 million ballots cast.

Angle said a path to victory for Davis includes boosting overall turnout to about 5.4 million in November, with Hispanics making up 18 to 20 percent of that total. Davis would need to get 60 to 65 percent of the Hispanic vote.

Hispanics made up 17 percent of voters in 2010, said Rice University political scientist Mark Jones, and White got 61 percent of that vote.

Davis would require more than that to win, including a bigger share of the Anglo vote than a Democratic gubernatorial candidate has received in two decades.

Abbott, for his part, wants to beat the percentage of the Hispanic vote received by then-Gov. George W. Bush in 1998. Bush got 49.5 percent, according to that year’s exit polls. (David Saleh Rauf contributed to this story.)

Yesterday the ‘Stros ran a full page ad on page 3 of the main section congratulating Jose Altuve for collecting his 211th base hit.

Included in the neighborhood web chatter the last couple of days is the possible closing or partial closing of the post office on Yale and 11th Street. All I can say is that I haven’t used it in the past couple or so years.

The Cubbies of course lead MLB in strikeouts this season with 1,376.

The final homie starts this evening with a three game weekend series with the Mariners. The Mariners are contending for a Wild Card slot and Altuve now holds a seven point lead in the chase for the batting title.

Read Full Post »