This week, we asked the insiders in politics and government about the state Democratic Party’s convention in Dallas, and the first takeaway is that most of the insiders believe that most of the Democratic candidates got nothing from the gathering. Over half said lieutenant governor candidate Leticia Van de Putte’s prospects were helped by the gathering. For others, including governor nominee Wendy Davis, most of the insiders said the convention had no effect.
More than half said the Democratic Party’s position on immigration is a net positive. About as many — 53 percent — think the party’s position on the federal Affordable Care Act hurts the party’s chances. Asked whether the conventioneers created any political opportunities for Texas Republicans, 52 percent said no. But nearly a third — many of them citing Trey Martinez Fischer’s line about the GOP standing for “gringos y otros pendejos” — said the Republicans should be able to take advantage of that.
We collected verbatim comments along the way and a full set of those is attached. Here’s a sampling:
How did the state Democratic convention affect the political prospects of these candidates and officials?
• "Democrats are now openly saying Davis is just a money maker for us, but Leticia can win."
• "By all accounts it appears that the entirety of the convention was the intro to LVP's speech, and the speech itself."
• "Conventions have minimal impact. The same number of people who didn't know Mike Collier's name last week still don't know him."
• "Tiny convention scrum of an event with a left-wing feel to it -- it has always been the Republicans' election to lose -- if the Democratic Convention was the Democrats best shot, then the Republicans probably couldn't lose even if they tried."
• "The Democratic Party continues to fail to speak to a majority of Texans. In fact, it continues, unlike the party in the late 80s and early 90s, to overtly show Texans it stands opposed to their basic ideas."
• "It was a strong convention and helped all of the democratic candidates. By comparison, they seem the rational choice."
Does the TDP's position on immigration hurt or help the Party?
• "It helps it in the long term but not in the short."
• "They don't seem to realize how damaging and condescending their rhetoric is. They are essentially willing to de-franchise everyone else in deference to immigrants who come here illegally -- The idea that TMF's thought his 'Gringos and Otros Pendejos' would sell is a clear sign of how out of touch they are."
• "With their base only. It does nothing to expand their appeal. I'm assuming their game plan is to wait for the brown wave."
• "Hispanics' don't vote and the people who do want to deport all illegals anyway."
• "In light of the virtually open borders in south Texas they are on the wrong side of the voters of Texas"
Does the TDP's position on the Affordable Care Act hurt or help the party?
• "The Democrats can at least say they are 'for' something. Unfortunately it's not what Texans are 'for'."
• "They take a strong position in their platform endorsing and calling for the expansion of the Affordable Health Care Act, even though polls consistently show that Texas voters don't want Obamacare."
• "Keep moving left on this issue and supporting a failed policy that even those in the middle and some leading Dems are against and it will continue to make the TDP irrelevant. Funny how Davis is running from her big day in the Senate and not talking about so called reproductive rights as it relates to healthcare."
• "Check the Obama approval rating statewide"
Did the Texas Democratic conventioneers create any political opportunities for Texas Republicans?
• "State party conventions are irrelevant except for some momentary bad press while the fringe of the party enjoys its moment in the spotlight."
• "If TMF (F3?) qualifies as a conventioneer, then the answer is YES."
• "I don't think anybody is paying attention to anything they are doing. It's doesn't matter what they talk about."
• "Making it all about women is not a winning strategy. Furthermore, not all women in Texas think like the leftist feminazi women in the TDP"
• "What opportunities did the Rs need to be given in a one party state?"
• "By continuing to place itself too far to the left and creating a clear image of that, the Democrats broadly allow a newly fringe Republican Party easily to stay in power. When this group of Ds again only gets in the low 40s, it will once more discourage serious Ds from running for yet another round. Unbelievable."
• "'Gringos and pendejos.' Childish, makes any swing voter who has any sort of R vote history defensive, off-put. Abbott et al have the resources to make that one hurt."
Our thanks to this week's participants: Gene Acuna, Brandon Aghamalian, Brandon Alderete, Clyde Alexander, George Allen, Jay Arnold, Charles Bailey, Andrew Biar, Allen Blakemore, Chris Britton, David Cabrales, Kerry Cammack, Thure Cannon, Snapper Carr, Corbin Casteel, William Chapman, Elna Christopher, Harold Cook, Kevin Cooper, Beth Cubriel, Randy Cubriel, Curtis Culwell, Denise Davis, Hector De Leon, June Deadrick, Nora Del Bosque, Glenn Deshields, Holly DeShields, Tom Duffy, Richard Dyer, Jack Erskine, Norman Garza, Dominic Giarratani, Bruce Gibson, Kinnan Golemon, Daniel Gonzalez, Jim Grace, John Greytok, Clint Hackney, Wayne Hamilton, Bill Hammond, John Heasley, Ken Hodges, Steve Holzheauser, Kathy Hutto, Deborah Ingersoll, Cal Jillson, Mark Jones, Robert Jones, Lisa Kaufman, Robert Kepple, Richard Khouri, Tom Kleinworth, Ramey Ko, Sandy Kress, Dale Laine, Nick Lampson, Pete Laney, Luke Legate, Vilma Luna, Matt Mackowiak, Mike McKinney, Steve Minick, Bee Moorhead, Mike Moses, Steve Murdock, Keats Norfleet, Pat Nugent, Sylvia Nugent, Todd Olsen, Gardner Pate, Jerod Patterson, Robert Peeler, Tom Phillips, Wayne Pierce, Richard Pineda, Gary Polland, Jay Pritchard, Jay Propes, Ted Melina Raab, Patrick Reinhart, David Reynolds, Carl Richie, Grant Ruckel, Jim Sartwelle, Barbara Schlief, Stan Schlueter, Bruce Scott, Ben Sebree, Christopher Shields, Jason Skaggs, Martha Smiley, Larry Soward, Leonard Spearman, Dennis Speight, Jason Stanford, Bob Strauser, Colin Strother, Michael Quinn Sullivan, Sherry Sylvester, Jay Thompson, Gerard Torres, Trey Trainor, Vicki Truitt, Corbin Van Arsdale, Ware Wendell, Ken Whalen, David White, Darren Whitehurst, Woody Widrow, Seth Winick, Peck Young, Angelo Zottarelli.