Texas politics is becoming curiouser and curiouser. Take the case of U.S. Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison, the Texas Republican who has consistently been re-elected with record numbers. She is now seeing her lead in the state's gubernatorial race go down a rabbit hole — and the contest is on the verge of being usurped by a candidate supported by the Tea Party.
In February 2009, Hutchison, who had her eye on going home from Washington to run for governor, held a 56% to 31% lead in the Rasmussen poll over Republican incumbent Governor Rick Perry. A year later, Rasmussen has Perry at 44%, Hutchison at 29% and Debra Medina, a little-known county party chairwoman and a member of the tea party movement, at 16%. Medina, a former nurse who runs a small medical-billing company near Houston, has seen her share in the Rasmussen poll of likely Republican primary voters rise dramatically from 4% in November, with a recent boost from two good performances in debates among the three candidates. This week, a poll of 423 probable Republican primary voters by Public Policy Polling (PPP) has Hutchison in a virtual tie with Medina when the poll's 4.8% margin of error is considered: 39% for Perry, 28% for Hutchison and 24% for Medina. A relatively new polling organization, PPP made one prescient recent call: it predicted a 51%-to-46% win by Republican Scott Brown in the stunning Massachusetts Senate race; the final was 52% to 47%.
"The big question for Debra Medina is whether there's enough unhappy voters out there for her to get into a runoff with Rick Perry," says Dean Debnam, president of PPP. "That would rank up there with the results of the Massachusetts Senate election as an early shocker in the 2010 political season."
I'm hoping Medina can pull this out. We need capable people in office, not establishment choices. Your thoughts.