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October 15, 2004

Good Poll, Bad Poll

By Byron LaMasters

Good news for Chet Edwards, bad news for Charlie Stenholm in polling over the past two days.

This poll for Chet Edwards is out today:

A Bennett, Petts and Blumenthal (D) poll; conducted 10/11-13 for Rep. Chet Edwards (D); surveyed 450 likely voters; margin of error +/- 4.9% (release, 10/14). Tested: Edwards and state Rep. Arlene Wohlgemuth (R).

General Election Matchup
Edwards 50%
Wohlgemuth 40
Undec/Oth 10

I'm not sure if Chet's really up by ten since this is a Democratic poll, but he probably has a small, if not comfortable lead.

There's been lots of good news for Chet Edwards this week. He picked up several endorsements:

The Fort Worth Star-Telegram:

At this time in history, Texas needs Edwards in Congress. His experience in national defense issues is important to the entire state, not just District 17.

The off-cycle redistricting process cut Fort Hood and Killeen out of Edwards' district -- a deliberate move by House Majority Leader Tom DeLay and the Republicans to remove the world's largest military installation from the man who has so ably represented it for the past 13 years.

With Edwards' record of fighting both Democratic and Republican administrations that tried to cut housing allowances, retiree pay, education for military dependents and danger pay for troops in Iraq, no wonder the Republicans didn't want the base and its voters in his district.

The Battalion Op/ed:

In this day and age, when movie stars govern states and Democrats speak at Republican conventions, why shouldn't a Democrat continue to represent a primarily conservative district? Especially one that has done nothing to suggest that he is not fit for the position. This election year, one would hope voters will consider experience and ideals over political party.

Via The Stakeholder, Greg's Opinion and Off the Kuff.

Also, Edwards has been endorsed by Wohlgemuth's hometown mayor (along with other small-town mayors nearby):

Burleson Mayor Ken Shetter pledged Thursday to work hard to keep state Rep. Arlene Wohlgemuth's trash picked up, her water running, her neighborhood safe -- and her political opponent in office.


Shetter was joined by first-term Cleburne Mayor Ted Reynolds and Wava McCullough, mayor of the small community of Cross Timber, in endorsing Edwards on the courthouse lawn.

More good news later in the article. Roll Call has taken Chet Edwards off it's "Ten most vulnerable incumbents" list:

Roll Call, a nonpartisan newspaper that closely covers Congress and Capitol Hill, took Edwards off its "ten most vulnerable" list of legislators expected to lose in November.

"We're by no means saying this is a slam dunk for him," said Josh Kurtz, political editor of Roll Call. "A lot could happen."

Now on to the bad news. Charlie Stenholm is in some trouble:

According to the new poll by students at Texas Tech, 53.5 percent of respondents favor Neugebauer and 23.3 percent favor Stenholm. The poll, which the university released late Monday, has a margin of error of plus or minus 5.2 percentage points.


The numbers, however, closely mirror earlier findings by the Scripps Research Center showing Neugebauer with support from 52 percent of voters, and Stenholm with support from 29 percent.

There were questions about the student poll at Texas Tech. I'd trust it just about as much as I'd trust an Aggie poll - not very much. I'm sure there are some inaccuracies, but I think it's also clear that Stenholm is in trouble - probably behind in double digits, even if he did get some good news today with an endorsement by the Fort Worth Star-Telegram.

Overall things are looking much better than expected for the "Texas 5". A year ago, most analysts thought that the Texas 5 (along with Lloyd Doggett) would be pushovers with their seats handed over to voting-with-Tom-DeLay-in-lockstep lackeys . One looks on the cusp of victory (Edwards), one looks likely to go down in defeat (Stenholm) and three I think are pretty close to being pure toss-ups (Lampson, Frost and Sandlin).

Update: More on the chances of Texas Democrats from the National Journal's House Race Hotline:

DCCC chair Rpboert Matsui "insisted that at least three of those embattled incumbents -- Reps. Chet Edwards, Charles Stenholm and Martin Frost -- stand a good chance of surviving" in TX. Matsui said the others -- Reps. Nick Lampson and Max Sandlin "could prevail" (Hess, CongressDaily, 10/14).

Posted by Byron LaMasters at October 15, 2004 07:59 PM | TrackBack


I think Edwards is ok. Sandlin will make it as well. He'll get beat in South Tyler pretty bad, but he is doing surprisingly well in Longview. Lampson has some good people working for him like CJ Treadway who worked in swing districts before. I just don't think he'll make it unless he does something about the Humble/Atascocita exurban area. Frost has a shot. Like to see the new hispanic registrations in CD32.

Stenholm will be running against Todd Staples or David Swinford for AG Commish in 2006.

Posted by: pc at October 16, 2004 01:24 PM

That has little to do with this post.

Posted by: Karl-T at October 16, 2004 03:03 PM

Ralph Nader's the only one that doesn't get the negative impact he's going to have on the progressive movement. We've got to do everything we can to stop him before it's too late!
"I am voting my conscience" and not supporting Nader
In the following statement, Winona LaDuke, Nader's 2000 running mate, announced:
I am voting for John Kerry this November. I love this land, and I know that we need to make drastic changes in Washington if we are going to protect our land and our communities. I'm voting my conscience on Nov. 2 I'm voting for John Kerry. He wants to move federal policies to support Native communities, whether Native farmers, businesspeople or tribal governments. We are on his radar; this is a beginning. Kerry offers other reasons for hope. He opposes converting Yucca Mountain into a nuclear waste dump. By Nov. 2, 2004, John Kerry will have earned my vote.
Go to www.thenaderfactor.com to learn even more!

Posted by: Ace Parsi at October 16, 2004 04:55 PM
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