The Midday Brief: Top Texas Headlines for Dec. 14, 2011

Newt Gingrich at a press conference after a debate with Herman Cain in The Woodlands on Nov. 5, 2011.
Newt Gingrich at a press conference after a debate with Herman Cain in The Woodlands on Nov. 5, 2011.

Your afternoon reading:

  • "Right now, Mr. Gingrich’s win probability is just under 50 percent, but Mr. Paul has gained ground and now has a 28 percent chance of winning. Mr. Romney, Gov. Rick Perry of Texas and Michele Bachmann are all between about 5 and 10 percent, while Rick Santorum has about a 2 percent chance of winning based on the current surveys. Thus, although Mr. Gingrich still has the lead, Iowa looks to be fairly wide open with as many as five plausible winners. It should be a fun few weeks." — A First Iowa Forecast: Race Is Still Wide Open, FiveThirtyEight
  • "Like Santorum, Bachmann and Perry are banking on polls showing that as many as two-thirds of would-be Iowa caucus-goers have not yet made up their minds, as a New York Times/CBS survey conducted last week found. That figure was a 9 percentage point increase from when the pollster asked the same question the first week of November." — Can GOP underdogs shake up Iowa?, Politico
  • "Mitt Romney is sharpening his warning to Republicans about the consequences of nominating Newt Gingrich, declaring in an interview on Wednesday: 'Zany is not what we need in a president.'" — Romney Warns of Nominating ‘Zany’ Gingrich, The New York Times
  • "There's college football fans who hate the Bowl Championship Series. And then there's North Texas congressman Joe Barton, who despises the the BCS so thoroughly that he's forming the Congressional Collegiate Sports Caucus to push for the group's demise and for the creation of a college football playoff. The Arlington Republican, whose disdain for the BCS is rivaled in Congress only by Utah Senator Orrin Hatch, will join Tennessee Democrat Steve Cohen on Thursday to announce his coalition at a Capitol Hill press conference." — Rep. Joe Barton, noted BCS hater, ups his push for a college football playoff, Trail Blazers

New in The Texas Tribune:

  • "The Williamson County attorney on how the Michael Morton case inspired her to run against Williamson County District Attorney John Bradley, and her concerns that, despite Bradley professing that the now-famous innocence case has changed his outlook, policies in the office could still allow for wrongful convictions." — Jana Duty: The TT Interview

Texas Tribune donors or members may be quoted or mentioned in our stories, or may be the subject of them. For a complete list of contributors, click here.