Tuesday, February 19, 2008
The last competitive state-wide election in Texas that I can recall was in 1994, when George W. Bush upset Ann Richards to win the governorship for the first time. Since then, Republicans have swept just about every statewide race. Regardless of how you feel about the political results of this dominance, you have to admit that one positive consequence is that there usually aren't many campaign ads on television. The 2000 and 2004 Presidential elections might have been exceptionally close, but you wouldn't have known it from watching TV ads in Texas. Both parties knew that George W. Bush would win Texas in a landslide, and so neither campaign spent any time or effort campaigning here. Given the vapidity of almost every political ad that I have ever seen on TV and how even ones supporting positions and candidates that I like enrage me with their shoddy logic and their manipulative presentation, I think that this is a good thing.
But Texas actually matters this time around. The conventional wisdom is that Hillary Clinton needs to win the Texas and Ohio primaries on March 4 in order to keep her presidential campaign viable. And so, for the first time in twelve years, we have been inundated with Clinton and Obama commercials. Yippee. I don't know how you people who live in battleground states stand it.