September 19, 2011

BROWN IS RED:

Texas Democrats' conservatism widespread outside of Austin (Jason Stanford, 7/27/11, Statesman)

Texas Democrats are more conservative than anyone in Austin might imagine.

Bryan Dooley, a Democratic pollster with Hamilton Campaigns out of Florida, says that Texas Democrats are more conservative than Democrats in Georgia, but more moderate than Democrats in Alabama and Mississippi.

Yet most Austin Democrats have no problem demanding that their statewide candidates take positions to the left of Nancy Pelosi and think the reason we don't win is that we didn't yell loudly enough.

You can rally at the Capitol on a sunny day and think the blue skies go all the way from El Paso to Texarkana, but Texans get pretty conservative when you leave Austin's city limits.

As much as we might hate to admit it, Austin Democrats might have more in common with our moderate Republican neighbors than with our partisan brothers from out of town.

Here in Austin, we all know Republicans who are pro-choice. But in Texas, 43 percent of Democratic primary voters are anti-abortion rights. In Austin, we get excited when we discover that our new carpet was made from recycled two-liter bottles and get angry at the thought that the Forumla One racetrack might pollute our air.

Yet 30 percent of Texas Democrats think environmental regulations hurt the economy.

Despite what my friend said, 45 percent of Texas Democrats in 2008 would choose a candidate who opposes gay marriage and favors civil unions over one who supports gay marriage.

Dooley, the Democratic pollster, says Texas Democrats continue to fit the mold of Southern conservatives because socially conservative Hispanics and blacks replaced the Dixiecrats.


Posted by at September 19, 2011 5:59 AM
  

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