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Inside Intelligence: Congressional Races

For the latest nonscientific survey of politics and government insiders, we asked about several hotly contested Democratic primaries for Congress, and we threw in a question about the email volleys roiling the Texas Senate.

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We resumed our run down the ballot this week, asking the insiders who'll win in some contested Democratic congressional primaries. But we started with the story of the week — the sharp email exchange between Sens. John Carona, R-Dallas, and Dan Patrick, R-Houston that were shared first with their fellow senators and then leaked to the public at large.

Of the two, Carona came out ahead, according to the insiders. But they also said Sen. Kevin Eltife, R-Tyler — who wasn't involved or mentioned in the email shootout — was a winner. He's an early favorite in the race to succeed Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst, who is running for U.S. Senate, and the theory is apparently that anything that lowers a potential contestant raises his chances.

On to the races. Here's the short form: The insiders aren't divided on who'll win, choosing incumbents whenever they could. They like U.S. Reps. Lloyd Doggett in CD-35, Eddie Bernice Johnson in CD-30, Silvestre Reyes in CD-16 and Ruben Hinojosa in CD-15. Doggett is a member of Congress, but not technically an incumbent; he moved into CD-35 when redistricting left his home in Republican waters. In CD-23, where the incumbent is in the GOP primary, the insiders chose state Rep. Pete Gallego of Alpine over his primary opponents, including former U.S. Rep. Ciro Rodriguez of San Antonio and attorney John Bustamante. The winner will face U.S. Rep. Francisco "Quico" Canseco in November.

As we do every week, we've attached a full set of verbatim comments from the insiders. Here are some of the highlights:


A bonus question, from this week's Texas Senate's headlines: Who won?

• "I didn't know the Senate was now a high school. Talk about cyber-bullying between those two 'esteemed' colleagues."

• "He's Sicilian! Wait for the horse head to appear in Patrick's bed!"

• "Why isn't 'no one' an option? Not sure who won or lost, but it appears someone clearly lost his marbles."

• "If Patrick had a problem with Carona, he should have come to him like a man. Patrick's overwrought actions ensured the Senate was the loser."

• "No one. The public does not understand all the inside baseball and this type of exchange does nothing to enhance the public's perception of state government."

• "Dan Patrick should learn how to use a telephone. Aren't there laws against spamming?"

• "The grassroots love Patrick. That's his trump card."

• "Neither Carona nor Patrick gained favor with colleagues in preparation for Lt. Gov. selection. Eltife gained because he is seen as a non-controversial selection as Lt. Gov. for two year stint."

• "A few came out winners (Z, Eltife, Duncan, e.g.), but only one came out a sure loser: Patrick"


Who do you think will win the CD-35 Democratic primary?

• "SA prevails. Travis County finally gets it for being the 'liberal bastion'"

• "That guy has more political lives than a cat...."

• "Prince was right. Money changes everything."

• "I will believe he's gone when he doesn't fog a mirror anymore"

• "Finally, Doggett rejoins the private sector."


Who do you think will win the CD-30 Democratic primary?

• "Choosing between the evil of 3 lessers..."

• "I pity the residents of this district."

• "She had name ID and high favorables. Then Obama endorsed her."

• "Johnson will win, but Clayton is impressive and will be heard from again."

• "Power of incumbency trumps all."


Who do you think will win the CD-23 Democratic primary?

• "Not sure, think a runoff is in the works here."

• "Gallego's financial contributions far exceed the other candidates."

• "Pete. No repeat."

• "In a Democratic primary, always bet the most liberal candidate."

• "Pete's been working the district hard, has waited his turn, and has no baggage, unlike Ciro."


Who do you think will win the CD-16 Democratic primary?

• "Incumbency & the Clinton effect will prevail."

• "With crowded fields in the CD 15 and CD 16 Democratic primaries the incumbent likely takes it. The others dilute the opportunity for one strong candidate to win"

• "Name identification, regardless his poor record, wins at the polls."

• "Reyes has serious ethical issues, but El Paso voters don't care."


Who do you think will win the CD-15 Democratic primary?

• "Who? Are these really candidates?"

• "Runoff"

• "Bankruptcy aside, the incumbent will win this one."

Our thanks to this week's participants: Clint Hackney, Anthony Haley, Wayne Hamilton, Bill Hammond, Sandy Haverlah, Albert Hawkins, Adam Haynes, Jim Henson, Ken Hodges, Billy Howe, Laura Huffman, Shanna Igo, Deborah Ingersoll, Richie Jackson, Cal Jillson, Jason Johnson, Mark Jones, Walt Jordan, Lisa Kaufman, Richard Khouri, Tom Kleinworth, Ramey Ko, Sandy Kress, James LeBas, Donald Lee, Luke Legate, Leslie Lemon, Richard Levy, Ruben Longoria, Vilma Luna, Matt Mackowiak, Luke Marchant, Bryan Mayes, Dan McClung, Parker McCollough, Mike McKinney, Robert Miller, Bee Moorhead, Steve Murdock, Craig Murphy, Keats Norfleet, Pat Nugent, Sylvia Nugent, Nef Partida, Gardner Pate, Jerry Philips, Tom Phillips, Wayne Pierce, Royce Poinsett, Kraege Polan, Jay Propes, Ted Melina Raab, Bill Ratliff, Karen Reagan, Tim Reeves, Jeff Rotkoff, Jason Sabo, Luis Saenz, Mark Sanders, Andy Sansom, Jim Sartwelle, Stan Schlueter, Bruce Scott, Steve Scurlock, Bradford Shields, Christopher Shields, Dee Simpson, Ed Small, Todd Smith, Larry Soward, Dennis Speight, Tom Spilman, Jason Stanford, Keith Strama, Bob Strauser, Colin Strother, Michael Quinn Sullivan, Sherry Sylvester, Jay Thompson, Russ Tidwell, Trent Townsend, Trey Trainor, Ware Wendell, Ken Whalen, Darren Whitehurst, Michael Wilt, Alex Winslow, Peck Young, Angelo Zottarelli, Cathie Adams, Brandon Aghamalian, Jenny Aghamalian, Clyde Alexander, George Allen, Jay Arnold, Louis Bacarisse, Charles Bailey, Tom Banning, Mike Barnett, Leland Beatty, Dave Beckwith, Amy Beneski, Andrew Biar, Tom Blanton, Steve Bresnen, Chris Britton, Andy Brown, Jay Brown, Lydia Camarillo, Thure Cannon, Snapper Carr, William Chapman, Elna Christopher, George Cofer, Lawrence Collins, John Colyandro, Randy Cubriel, Denise Davis, Hector De Leon, June Deadrick, Jeff Eller, Jack Erskine, Alan Erwin, John Esparza, Jon Fisher, Terry Frakes, Norman Garza, Dominic Giarratani, Bruce Gibson, Eric Glenn, Kinnan Golemon, Daniel Gonzalez, Thomas Graham, Alan Gray, John Greytok.

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