Perry and White Race to the Finish

Both Governor Rick Perry and his challenger Bill White cast their ballots today in early voting. The two men have fought hard to win and hold votes. With just two weeks left until Election Day — one political analyst say Bill White has the tougher battle ahead. Laurie Johnson reports.

The Texas Governor's race this year comes down to a question of whether voters will change their votes. Mark Jones chairs the Political Science Department at Rice University. He says Republicans have a 10-15 point advantage in off-year elections in Texas.

"White was already running against a strong headwind in terms of trying to be elected in the state of Texas as a Democrat. When you throw in all the problems the Democratic party is having nationally, as well as the unpopularity of President Obama in the state of Texas, it just makes it very difficult for any candidate."

What could help White in the race is that many Republicans are unhappy with Governor Rick Perry. Jones says the governor has had to work a bit harder in this election cycle than he did four years ago against Chris Bell.

"So it has been a very competitive race for Perry, but Perry is an excellent campaigner and he enjoys campaigning. So while he's had to exert a great deal of effort and actually pay much more attention to the campaign than say would be the case four years ago, he nonetheless has done a good job at it."

Jones says based on how the race is going now, his guess is Perry will win the election, but White will get at least 42 percent  of the vote.  And if that happens, he predicts we'll see Bill White on the campaign trail again quite soon...in the 2012 senate race.
 

Bio photo of Laurie Johnson

Laurie Johnson

Local Host, All Things Considered

Laurie Johnson is the Houston host for All Things Considered at KUHF NPR for Houston. Before taking the anchor chair, she worked as a general assignments reporter at KUHF, starting there as an intern in 2002...