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Ted Cruz Being Hilarious Dick Again, Plus All Your Texas Primary Action!

In a sight that would have made Molly Ivins smile, yesterday’s Texas primary elections drew the highest Democratic turnout in 16 years. Over a million Dems showed up to the polls, making it the biggest D turnout since the 2002 midterms. For the first time in 25 years, there will be actual Democratic candidates in all of Texas’s congressional districts, and three races for Congress will be going to runoffs in May.

The primary day turnout was enormous, especially for Dems in Texas, but some pundits are already stroking their chins wisely and saying that since the in-person turnout didn’t match the record early voting, Democrats had best lower their expectations for any blue wave this fall, harrumph. Here’s the sensible takeaway from Politico:

Democratic enthusiasm is real, but may not be enough in Texas

It’s a familiar pattern by now: every few years, Democrats insist they’re going to be competitive statewide in Texas because of their party’s energy and demographic change sweeping the state […] but by the time Election Day numbers came in, the enthusiasm dimmed — slightly. Data from the state’s other 239 counties favored Republicans, and by the end of the night, there were roughly a half-million more votes in the GOP primary than in the Democratic primary.

So where’s the disappointment? Statewide, more Rs than Ds voted, because Texas still does have more Rs than Ds. But in terms of actual increases in voting, Democratic turnout nearly doubled over the 2014 midterm, while Republican voting was up only slightly. We’d call that impressive, not a reason to curb our enthusiasm. It would be nice to turn Texas purple, but if the goal is building the party for the future, then you have to lay the groundwork even if you don’t flip the entire state. Oh, dear, Democrats merely doubled turnout in Texas, ho-hum. Stop being a buzzkill, Politico.

Then there’s those three congressional primaries that will need to be decided in May runoffs: The one that’s likely to generate the most intraparty bad feelings will be for the chance to challenge incumbent Republican John Culberson in the 7th District in Houston. The top vote-getter for the Dem nomination is Lizzie Pannill Fletcher, who has an endorsement from Emily’s List, and Laura Moser, a former journalist and progressive activist who appears to have actually benefited from the DCCC’s dumb efforts to keep her out of the runoff by saying she wouldn’t have a chance against Culberson in the fall. Oh, look, DCCC screws up again, hurrah.

The other two runoffs seem less likely to end any friendships. In the 23rd District, which includes part of San Antonio and a large swath of territory to the border, Gina Ortiz Jones, a former Obama administration official, is likely to be faced by Judy Canales, a former USDA official in the Clinton administrator. They’ll be looking for the chance to unseat incumbent Republican John Hurd.

In the Dallas-area 32nd District, a seat currently held by Republican Pete Sessions, Colin Allred, a former NFL player and current civil-rights attorney, got 40 percent of the vote, so he’s in the runoff. His May challenger should be former Obama administration official Lilian Salerno, who just squeaked past former investigative reporter Brett Shipp.

Also, did you notice all the women candidates in that field? Elsewhere in the state, two Latina candidates won their primaries outright: Veronica Escobar and Sylvia Garcia. In all, there were nearly 50 women running in the Congressional primaries. Yr Wonkette can only imagine that somewhere, St. Molly is saying “Damn well about time.”

As expected, November’s race for US Senate will be between incumbent Ted Cruz (R-Thing on his lip) and Congressman Beto O’Rourke, and to prove that Cruz is already at least a bit worried about November, his campaign has released a perfectly awful little radio ad against O’Rourke. Give it a listen, it’s Ted Cruz’s favorite kind of music: Mean.

Isn’t that a cute tweet? The Canadian-born Cuban guy whose given name is Rafael is apparently going to campaign against “Robert” O’Rourke and to suggest that his perfectly cromulent nickname “Beto” — bestowed upon him at birth because Texas — is some kind of recent affectation intended to fool Latino voters. The jingle suggests that O’Rourke had sinister plans to deceive folks when he was a tiny baby:

Liberal Robert wanted to fit in, so he changed his name to Beto and hid it with a grin

O’Rourke brushed off the suggestion that he’s been trying to fool Texas voters since he was an infant, telling CNN he’s never been a “Robert” to his family:

My parents have called me Beto from day one, and it’s just — it’s kind of a nickname for Robert in El Paso. It just stuck.

He’s previously posted a Facebook picture of himself as a tot in a hand-stitched “BETO” sweatshirt.

What a cynical vote-chasing toddler he must have been! Not to mention adorable.

The radio jingle also closes with the charming lines

Beto wants those open borders and wants to take our guns. Not a chance he’ll get a vote from millions of Texans

We guess you do what you have to when some jerk keeps reminding you Democrats “will crawl over broken glass in November to vote,” and that jerk is YOU! TED CRUZ!

We have to doubt the wisdom of this strategy. As we’ve noted, Beto O’Rourke used to play bass in a punk band, and if he wants to summon up musicians to fire back against Cruz, we’re sure half of Austin will be submitting demo tapes. Maybe he could start with an ode to Ted Cruz’s electorally convenient claim from 2015 that 9/11 inspired him to love country music, as any authentic patriot would have.

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[Vox / LAT / NBC News / Politico / El Paso Times / CNN]

Source: Politics – Wonkette

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