The Republican gubernatorial battle between Gov. Hair and Sen. Hutch received national attention today with a prominent story in The New York Times. Although it didn't come right out and say Hutch is in trouble, it hinted at the fact. Here is one particularly telling paragraph:
"In years when there is no presidential election, fewer voters generally turn out for the primaries. Since Republicans typically dominate statewide races in Texas, the winner of their primary usually cruises through the general election. That means a relatively small number of highly motivated conservative voters play a pivotal role in choosing the governor, strategists say."
Combine that with a paragraph that appeared earlier in the story and you get the picture:
"Mr. Perry ... enjoys strong support from evangelical leaders and the voters who usually turn out heavily in the primaries: members of antitax groups, religious conservatives, creationists, foes of abortion and a variety of other Texans opposed to big government."
The story also hinted that Hair doublecrossed Hutch:
"Elected to the Senate 16 years ago, Ms. Hutchison, now 66, has wanted for a long time to be governor. She pulled out of the governor’s race in 2006 only after several major Republican donors persuaded her that Mr. Perry would not run for a third term. Mr. Perry, 59, denies he ever made such a promise, though some Republican donors now supporting Ms. Hutchison insist he did. In any event, the bad blood has made it impossible for party leaders to head off a primary fight this time around, several prominent Republicans said."
This is going to get much bloodier before it's over.