The most interesting thing in this article about the Democratic sweep here in Harris County is the reaction of Paul Simpson, head of the county GOP:
In response to questions about no elected Republicans left on Harris County benches, Paul Simpson, Chairman of the Harris County GOP, released a broad statement that he was mad and determined.
“I am mad. Mad at the avoidable losses wreaked across Texas by the Beto wave of straight-ticket votes,” he said. “That straight-ticket wave turned Fort Bend County Democrat, defeated Republicans on appellate courts across Texas, elected Democrats across the state to Congress and the Legislature, and swept every countywide vote in Harris County.”
Well yeah, that’s kind of how voting works. Is Simpson saying that straight ticket voting is bad?
Expect to hear Republicans in Texas complaining about straight ticket voting; they know that one of the things that happens is when you have a strong contender at the top of the ticket (like Beto) people will vote straight ticket and it benefits people down the ballot (like judges). Which I guess is awesome when it’s Republicans benefiting, but when you’re counting on Ted Cruz and Greg Abbott to carry the day, not so much.
Similarly, let’s be clear about why Republicans are now going to hate straight ticket voting: if you get rid of it, many people will skip the lower races, and the sheet number of races will cause delays at the polls in urban areas (there were 92 races on my ballot in Houston this year).
Let’s also consider the compelling vision that local Republicans offered about why they would make the best leaders and judges in Harris County:
Texas Republicans have gotten used to being able win with a campaign message of “Grr, argh, scary Democrats! Hide your guns and your fetuses!” Faced with opponents talking about how they would do a better job, they squeaked by at the top and lost other races all over the place. So weird! It’s like voters didn’t appreciate state Republicans spending time on a jihad against Planned Parenthood that massively reduced access to health care for women all over the state and has given us the highest maternal mortality rate in the developed world! (Plus bonus live readings of “Green Eggs and Ham” on the Senate floor while trying to take away your health insurance.)
Paul Simpson is mad about how ungrateful you are for that, y’all. One reaction to that would be to figure out policies that would benefit Texans and run on those. Another would be figure out how to stop that pesky voting by non-Republicans. Let’s take bets on which one the Texas GOP picks.