Thursday, February 28, 2008

Texas in the general election

OK, it's time to be wrong. For real. Texas might become electorally interesting sooner rather than later. I'm not saying the Democrats might win here, just that they might make things interesting. It is important to note that in 2004, Bush took Texas by a lot--23 percent. So, what makes me think the Democrats can cut into that margin?

Here are my reasons:

1. Long considered a solidly Republican state, it does have a significant populist tradition. In a year where populism seems to be doing well, that might give the Democrats some votes in Texas.

2. George Bush, who is from Texas, is not on the ballot. That will cost a few votes.

3. McCain--While I expect McCain to do well in the West, I don't know if he'll be enthusiastically received by hardcore Texas conservatives, who are really important. If Republicans who don't like McCain go into Nov. believing the Republicans are sure to hold Texas, and there's no other competitive race out there, they may stay home as a way of expressing their displeasure at McCain.

4. Demographics--Texas is now a white minority state. Not the electorate, of course, but winning Texas means getting some Latino votes. Those votes may be up for grabs in 2008, especially if Texas Republicans start acting like California Republicans.

So, what does that mean--here's the prediction--the Republicans hold Texas, but the margin is in the single digits.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Take your daughter to work day

Yesterday turned out to be take my daughter to work day--school was out, and with mom on a business trip, the simplest thing seemed to be to take her to the office. She had wanted to sit in on one of my classes anyway. Funny enough, she made at least one relevant comment regarding free will and candy, so she was paying attention, which is more than I can say about some of the students. However, in the second class, she got a little fixated on how Parliament executed Charles I.

While I was in the office, she offered to help grade, but I was afraid she'd be a little harsh, so I said I'd do it myself. One of the student workers finally put her to work punching holes in pieces of paper. Evidently, she was a real help.

So, now she seems interested in attending college one day, which is great. Unfortunately, she doesn't really see why she needs to finish elementary school. I'm not sure what that says about my class.

Monday, February 4, 2008

Superbowl Heck Yeah!

What an unbelievable game. I don't think you could script a more exciting finish--it came straight out of a sports movie with the game winning drive including the most amazing catch I've ever seen in a Superbowl. What was especially satisfying was knowing that lots of people were rooting for the whole 19-0 thing, and the Giants spoiled their little party.

At first, I handled this game like every other Giant playoff game this year--I figured they didn't have much of a chance, and a loss wasn't going to disappoint me. But as the second half opened with the Giants pretty much outplaying the Pats, I began to realize that the worst possible outcome would be losing a close one. And when the Pats scored late in the fourth to take a lead, I had little hope. And then Eli takes the team down field, and well, they scored. That whole drive I was just standing in the middle of my living room, buttoning and unbuttoning my shirt not believing what I was seeing. Well, you probably saw the game anyway.

I didn't really believe in the Giants until the end of the game last night. The defense had come a long way by the end of the season, but I had no faith in Eli Manning. But he's a fourth year QB, so it's entirely possible that the Eli who played so well last night (and really throughout the playoffs) is for real. The Giants started the season a young team. Now, they are a good young team. It's a good time to be a fan of the New York Football Giants.