Texas Republican Candidates for Lieutenant Governor Are Not Overly Fond of Barack Obama

Reporting on Politics and Policy.
Feb. 17 2014 10:06 AM

Texas Republican Candidates for Lieutenant Governor Are Not Overly Fond of Barack Obama

DALLAS -- For the next couple of days I'm reporting from the heart of Real America, covering a big meeting of the AFL-CIO and a few campaigns. In the meantime, I am occasionally sitting down in places with large TV sets, and being bombarded by TV ads. That's a long-winded way of saying, "boy, there sure are a lot of ads in the race for lieutenant governor."

And there are -- it's the most competitive statewide primary, by leagues. Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst, a workmanlike conservative, made the mistake of running for U.S. Senate in 2012 against Ted Cruz. Dewhurst started out with a huge polling lead; pro-Dewhurst PACs attempted to bury the young former solicitor general, who'd been running for years. It didn't work, and after Dewhurst lost a delayed runoff and Cruz became an instant icon, other conservatives lined up to defeat the LG. How hard can it be to get to the right of a guy who's known, if he's known at all, as the dull RINO who lost to Ted Cruz?

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So, here's State Sen. Dan Patrick, giving it a try.

Here's Agriculture Commissioner Todd Staples, with obviously the best TV ad in the race.

How can Dewhurst respond to that? By reminding voters that he really, really, seriously and intensely opposes Obama, too.

Not quite convinced that he opposes Obama? Well, okay:

How are you not convinced yet? Fine.

The election is on March 4. If Dewhurst doesn't win an outright majority, he's forced into a runoff. Again.

David Weigel is a Slate political reporter.