Washington Post Texas Governor's Primary: What to Watch ForSubmitted by BFrank on Tue, 03/02/2010 - 16:07
A Tea Party Test: The Tea Party movement in Texas is as strong, organized and active as any in the country. Debra Medina is seen as the candidate of the Tea Party movement in the state and has openly courted its supporters in her underfunded bid for governor. Medina was rising in the polls -- thanks, in no small part, to voter disgust with the back and forth between Perry and Hutchison -- but that upward trajectory appears to have slowed in the wake of her remarks that seemed to suggest that the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks were an inside job. (Perry, too, has worked to hard to co-opt the energy of the Tea Partiers and will enjoy some segment of support among the group). Rightly or wrongly, Medina's showing will be taken as a baseline for the Tea Party movement in the state; the higher she goes, the bigger national story the race will become. Also keep an eye on Rep. Ron Paul's primary race. Even though Paul is regarded in many circles as a founding member of the Tea Party crowd, he is facing several primary challengers more directly affiliated with the movement. Be careful not to read too much into how much of the vote Paul's opponents get, however. There is a certain segment of Republicans in his 14th district who make it a policy every two years to vote against him; Paul's primary challenger in 2008 got 30 percent of the vote.