Can Noriega Catch Cornyn?
Democrat close, but two and a half weeks out, it may be too late
By Lee Nichols,
12:46PM, Fri. Oct. 17, 2008
Daily Kos is reporting a poll they commissioned from Research 2000 showing Democratic Houston state Rep. Rick Noriega inching ever closer in his challenge to incumbent Republican U.S. Sen. John Cornyn:
Schick (L) 2%
The very partisan Burnt Orange Report, of course, is optimistic about that those Noriega numbers. I'm pretty partisan myself, but the clear-eyed journalist in me views them with more pessimism – if the numbers are accurate, then even winning over all the undecideds aren't enough to take out Cornyn. But hey, the margin of error is 4% and it's only 600 people in an election that should easily top the 7.4 million of 2004, so who knows?
Daily Kos raises an interesting question: "[T]he [Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee] is stuck with a tough decision – do they play? Texas is an expensive state, with something like 18 media markets, costing millions. Yet on the flip side, they have a real opportunity in a ridiculously good environment to take out Cornyn before he's too entrenched in that seat."
I think a better question to ask is, should the DSCC have gotten involved earlier? Of course, hindsight is 20/20 here in October – just a few weeks ago I was telling people what a terrible candidate Noriega is, but seeing him in his last few appearances and debates, I think he's really polished his act and become more convincing. As Texas Monthly's Paul Burka noted this morning after the Dallas debate, "If he had $5 million and five weeks, he might make a race of it."
Unfortunately for Noriega, he has half that much time, and probably not nearly that much money.