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Michael Barone has an interesting take on Tuesday’s Republican primary in Texas. As background, incumbent Gov. Rick Perry ran against Sen. Kay Hutchison and Debra Medina. Medina came from the Tea Party wing of the party. Hutchison was seen as more moderate than Perry, who last year suggested that Texas might want to secede from a United States where the federal government had grown too intrusive.
Debra Medina is from Wharton, a small town, and was the most conservative of the bunch. She ran best in the Dallas area and in liberal Austin. Hutchison, the most liberal of the three Republicans, ran best in San Antonio and outside the big metro areas. Perry, who ran hard to the right, did best in Houston, which just elected a gay mayor. (Perry won with 52% of the vote.)
In other words, all the geographic expectations in this vote went unfulfilled. Liberals did well in rural Texas. The Tea Party candidate did best in the Peoples Republic of Austin. And the governor running hard to the right did best in the town that just elected the gay mayor and didn’t do particularly well outside the metros. In fact, if the votes out of Houston disappeared, Perry wouldn’t have won fewer than 50% of the vote.