Wednesday, November 4, 2009

The Kinky and Medina factors


To me, the surprising result of the University of Texas/Texas Tribune poll unveiled today is not that Gov. Hair leads Sen. Hutch by 12 percent among Republicans, but that Kinky Friedman has a nine percentage point lead over Tom Schieffer among Democrats. Could Kinky win this primary on name recognition alone?

I doubt it. The primary is still seven-plus months away and although Kinky polled 19 percent to Scheiffer's 10, the actual leader was "undecided" with a whopping 55 percent of Democrats.

The poll also showed that either Hair or Hutch would trounce either Kinky or Scheiffer in a general election, if it were held today, although Hutch would actually fare better than Hair.

It's also time to mention the name -- or perhaps, "introduce the name" of would be more accurate -- of Debra Medina (pictured). Even more than Gov. Hair. Ms. Medina is the darling of Tea Party/Ron-Paul-loving Republican right wing. Even though she is being ignored by the mainstream media, she polled 7 percent among Republicans in this poll. If those numbers hold, she throws the primary into a runoff and opens the door for her to run as a third party candidate, perhaps on the Libertarian ticket. Ms. Medina is a gadfly community activist who shows up at all kinds of political rallies. Her campaign Web page says this about her:

"Born in Beeville and raised on a South Texas farm, Debra Medina is a wife and mother, a registered nurse, a businesswoman, a rancher and a fighter. Debra has always drawn strength from the courage of her convictions. She first got involved in politics in the early 1990s, when she saw that local leaders were not honoring the pro-life principles that guide her beliefs. Now chairing the Republican Party of Wharton County, she took the Republican Party of Texas to court in 2008 over violations in how the state convention was run."

The two main issues on her platform are eliminating property taxes and "using a broader based sales tax" to compensate, and protecting the right of all Texans to carry guns. She also wants term limits for ALL elected officials.

It will be fascinating to see how far these wacky ideas take her and what effect she will have on next year's elections.

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