Despite little money and official presence I think Obama has a gambler's chance at pinning a blue ribbon on Texas
this Tuesday today. It will require a perfect storm of turnout but that storm may well be brewing.
Follow me past the ellipse and quadruple colons for my caffeine induced analysis...
Let's look at the recent Daily Kos R2K poll:
Let's check the demo breakouts (party, race/ethnicity, age):
McCain: 14-84-51, 68-4-33-35, 49-56-53-51
Obama: 80-7-41, 25-89-57-55, 44-35-39-41
Other: 1-5-6, 6-0-0-0, 4-5-4-3
[Kerry: 90-3-31, 25-83-50, 41-31-36-46]
One thing that jumps out is that Obama does as well among Whites as Kerry did but trails in Dems. Obama also does better then Kerry with Blacks and Hispanics. It's sort of paradoxical and may be statistical noise.
The Perfect Storm: Hispanic Turnout
It starts with basic demographic trends -- from 2000 to 2008 the Hispanic % of the voting age population grew 6%. This came entirely at the expense of the white demographic.
Three other factors should support a solid Hispanic turnout for Obama:
First, Senate candidate Rick Noriega will appeal to Hispanic voters and the support he's gotten from the Clintons, the DSCC and the netroots has undoutedly helped his turnout effort.
Next, 32% of voters in the vigorous Dem primary were Hispanic -- these voters are likely to return in the general election.
Finally, Hispanics have been drifting to the Democratic side -- Bush took 50% in 04 but McCain is polling in the 30's and I'm sure McRage's immigration waffle and the way the border fence issue has been used as a wedge in Texas over the last few years has started to consolidate opinions among the Hispanic community.
Let's look at some baseline data to get our 2008 targets:
Turnout % 2000 Election
2004 Exit Polls
2007 Texas Pop by Race/Ethinicity Age 17+
OMG just say he wins already
Putting these all together (exercise left to the reader) then, the perfect storm in Texas looks something like this [R2K]:
McCain 65-05-35-35 [68-04-33-35]
Obama 30-95-65-65 [25-89-57-55]
Other 05-00-00-00 [06-00-00-00]
With the following racial/ethnic breakdown [2004 exit polls]:
White 59% [65%]
Black 14% [12%]
Hispanic 24% [20%]
Other 3% [03%]
The breakdown doesn't bother me but obviously the racial/ethnic preference numbers could use some improvement (though I think they are within MoE).
If Obama can manage these numbers he squeaks out a 48.55% to 48.50% victory and wins Texas and her 34 Electoral Votes.
p.s. I haven't gone into the Noriega numbers but the same perfect storm of Dems (Noriega, Obama, Clintons) helping each other out up and down ticket and Republicans (McCain, Cornyn, Dubya) running away from each other and their party should give Rick a great shot as well. A lot of people have written off Obama and Noriega in Texas but I put my Daily Kos Election Prediction where my mouth is.