Magazine article Politics Magazine

Texas

Magazine article Politics Magazine

Texas

Article excerpt

A POTENTIALLY MESSY intra-party fight is heating up in the Lone Star State. Longtime Republican Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison is gearing up for a primary challenge to Gov. Rick Perry, and the governor's political backers are in the midst of an all-out push to keep Hutchison out of the race.

Perry's top pollster, Mike Baselice of Baselice & Associates, says jumping in the race for governor could be fatal to Hutchison's political career and likely hurt the state party. Baselice touts an internal poll that found some 63 percent of Republican primary voters would like to see Hutchison remain in the Senate.

Hutchison's camp calls the poll biased. The survey in question asked 503 Texas GOP primary voters whether they agreed or disagreed with the following statement: "If Republicans are to have any chance of stopping the Democrats from ramming their agenda through the United States Senate, then Kay Bailey Hutchinson should not run for governor, but rather serve out her full term in the senate ... and help avoid the risk of the Democrats winning her senate seat in a special election."

The electoral reality is that the GOP primary will be the main event in the state's race for governor. "Anybody that gets the Republican nomination in any statewide office has a leg up on the Democrat nominees," says Baselice. …

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