Thursday, January 13, 2011

Thoughts on Hutchison

Regardless of the official reasons for Kay Bailey Hutchison's retirement announcement today I have to wonder how much of it has to do with her not wanting to risk losing a primary to the Tea Party next year.

Hutchison's approval rating with Republicans on our last Texas poll was just 58%. To put that number into some perspective Lisa Murkowski's approval with Republicans in January of 2010 was 77% and Mike Castle's in March of 2009 was 69%. They both started out in a much better position against their Tea Party opposition than Hutchison would have, and they both lost anyway. A poll we conducted in September of 2010 found that only 25% of Republicans in Texas would support Hutchison for renomination to 62% who preferred a 'more conservative' challenger. It's doubtful Hutchison really would have lost by that sort of margin, but she certainly would have been in deep, deep trouble had a Tea Party challenger emerged.

The fact that someone like Hutchison who has generally been among the more popular Senators in the country and has always won by wide margins has been at least partially pushed out by the Tea Party is indicative of a new reality for Republican Senators- pretty much no incumbent is safe if these folks decide to target them. Among GOP Senators up for reelection next year we've found a 71% approval rating for Arizona's Jon Kyl with Republicans, a 53% approval rating for Maine's Olympia Snowe with them, a 74% approval rating for Massachusetts' Scott Brown with them, a 59% approval rating for Nevada's John Ensign with them, and an 84% approval rating for Wyoming's John Barrasso with them.

With the exception of Barrasso every single one of those folks has worse numbers with Republicans than Murkowski did just seven months prior to losing the primary, and most of them have numbers pretty comparable to where Castle's were as well. Now obviously not every single one of these folks is going to draw a viable, well funded Tea Party opponent. But if they do any of them could be in a lot of trouble- there is pretty much no Republican incumbent immune to a challenge from the right these days and Hutchison evidently saw the writing on the wall and got out. Not saying that's the only reason she retired but I'm sure it's a piece of it or else she would have made this decision a long time ago.


Jonny V said...

Here's hoping they take Snowe out. I love it when the Tea Party loons take out the moderate Republicans and replace them with unelectable buffoons. It means more Democrats in the Senate!

NRH said...

The tipping point has been reached and crossed. Republicans are no longer systematically capable of nominating anything but the most extreme of the ideologues. In the Deep South, where they have numerical majorities, this can work for them. But their antics will quickly tire out the rest of the country.

Anonymous said...

Get real: She will not be missed. No one can cite any statement, contribution, a heroic act, or an accomplishment this politico can go in peace and leave the scene open for new talent.

Anonymous said...

Hutchinson made a big mistake going against Perry. She begin to the right but she end to the left.

The next... Snowe...

Kay and Ray said...

Kay and Ray may be trying to say they will need time to prepare for their Legal Defense on Federal crimes that make what Don and Shelia Hill did very small in nature in comparison, and Don Hill's crimes were huge felony crimes!!!

Look at the Millions of dollars that have found their way into the KBH house hold through her husband's law firm, from his biggest clients like American Airlines, DFW Airport, Love Field Airport, the City of Dallas, and the likes since the early 1960s to today. Latest being the $2.7 Billion DFW Bond in 2005 that Ray and his law firm is paid monthly for as Bond attorney and Bond manager to this day!

By the way Ray's law firm is Vinson and Elkins, the former law firm for Enron.

When KBH brokered and pushed the repeal of the Wright Amendment back some 8 years, job growth in Dallas was ZERO in 2005 and 2006!!! And it still is today, thank you Kay and Ray for growing the jobs in Dallas at ZERO and stayed ZERO for the past five years!! As Broker and your efforts ensured the keeping of the Wright Amendment in effect, you did not help grow jobs in Dallas, you killed them!

Kay and Ray are the best US Senator money can buy!! Ray is the one who pulls the strings, and KBH puppets.

You may want to get a different legal team then Don and Shelia Hill had. Don's did not work out for him to well as he is now serving his 18 years in Federal Prison for doing far less then what Kay and Ray have done to the US and Texas citizens, and Don deserved every day in prison he received.

Kay if you do keep your word and leave the Senate, that would be a first for you. Maybe you and Ray are creating time to work on your personal problems that may surface in the days to come.

Who knows, the FBI may even be at work as we read KBH's statement!

Anonymous said...

I hope to see Deb Medina run for this seat. She pulled 18.6% in the governor's against Perry and Hutchinson, despite being outspent 20 to 1 and Glenn Beck bashing her for weeks before the primary. The tea party loves her, and she's gained experience since then. The trend of ordinary folks winning elections without special interest backing is very encouraging, and I'd like to see it continue! :)

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