Stuff Like This Makes Your Face Twitch

Red dreams of ousting Doggett are just dreams

Sigh ... math is hard. Especially when done with partisan blinders on. claims to be "the most often cited right of center blog in the media" – and given that it averages more than 3 million hits per month, we can believe it. That doesn't make it the most accurate.

An Austin correspondent for the blog, who goes by "Facetwitch" (, recently contributed a post titled "Inside the Numbers: 10 Reasons Donna Campbell Can Beat Doggett in TX-25." Campbell, a Republican, is challenging U.S. Rep. Lloyd Doggett for the District 25 Congressional seat. Unfortunately for Facetwitch, his main assumption is based on completely incorrect numbers for Travis County.

Please join us while we shoot fish in a barrel:

Facetwitch claims to have "looked inside the numbers ... and the congressional district Lloyd Doggett represents is a wildcard with all sorts of unpredictable factors at play. It's far from a safe seat for Democrats in this election."

As proof, Facetwitch writes that District 25's "current shape (which has only existed for four years due to a court decision in 2006) gives more influence to rural and suburban voters than traditional liberal Austinites."

Well, yes, that's true – barely. If we define "traditional liberal Austinites" as Travis County voters who cast ballots for Doggett, they account for a huge 43% (2006) to 44% (2008) of the District 25 vote – leaving Doggett the relatively easy task of scooping up just a few more points from rural Democratic loyalists to put him over the top.

But Facetwitch is demonstrably wrong when he makes claims about the supposed conservative tilt of the district: "Statewide Republican candidates have carried the district. Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison won the district as recent as the last midterm, winning seven of the eight counties by an average of almost 20 percentage points. The only county she lost was Travis County, but she still garnered 43% in what is considered a liberal stronghold. Republican Lt. Governor David Dewhurst achieved similar success in 2006, garnering 44% of the Travis County vote."

Wrong and wrong. Hutchison and Dewhurst did post those numbers in Travis, but not in the portion of the county that falls within Doggett's district. You can thank your gerrymandering buddy Tom DeLay for that, Facetwitch – only the southern third of Travis is in District 25. Within that portion of Travis, KBH only took 36%, and Double D took 35%.

And as the Travis vote controls District 25, neither won the district as a whole: KBH garnered 47%, while Dewhurst took 45% – with a hell of a lot more name ID than political novice Campbell. Sorry, but you don't get to count voters who aren't in the district.

So what are Campbell's real chances? Facetwitch opines, "If Donna Campbell can hit 40% in Travis County, she will most likely win." Good luck with that – in both 2006 and 2008, Doggett took 74% in Travis. Districtwide, he took 67% and 66%, respectively. RedState, you may want to look for a more reliable Austin correspondent. (For more exciting fish-shooting, see the expanded version of this article at

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KEYWORDS FOR THIS STORY, Lloyd Doggett, Donna Campbell, election

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