GROUND GAME MAGAZINE ® REPORTS
A definite “race to watch” is the faceoff for Texas House District 137 between increasingly popular Kendall L. Baker and his opponent, Gene Wu. Gene Wu is no stranger to politics and his name no stranger to voters; but Kendall Baker’s confidence and best assets in winning over Wu lays in his strategy, as well as his competence, experience and passion to serve that constituency. “If he can raise the funds needed to mount an effective ground game, Kendall L. Baker could very well win the State Representative House District 137 seat,” says Aubrey R. Taylor, publisher of Houston Business Connections Newspaper® and Ground Game Magazine®.
The race analysis for State Representative House District 137 by Aubrey R. Taylor reveals a contest between Kendall L. Baker and State Rep. Gene Wu that could be much closer than some “POLITICAL INSIDERS” and “PUNDITS” would have the electorate to believe. This is especially true given the fact that over 39,951 (of the eligible 49,964) registered voters living in this district didn’t even bother to go to the polls in either the Democratic or Republican Primaries held on Tuesday, March 1, 2016.
The 10,013 voters who voted in this race represent a mere 20 percent of voters eligible to cast a ballot in the House District 137 Primary race held on March 1, 2016. This indicates that at least 80% of eligible voters in House District 137 are up for grabs, or more appropriately, available for the proper political courting by the candidate who has the wisdom and the resources to mount an effective and comprehensive “ground game” in order to engage, inform, inspire and mobilize voters to support their candidacy.
THE NUMBERS DON’T LIE
The numbers provided above are based on the voting statistics published by the Harris County Clerk which clearly showed the combined “Democratic Primary” and “Republican Primary” voter turnout was only 10,013. So, voters, candidates, and strategists should keep in mind that there are more than 49,964 registered voters living in House District 137; leaving at least 39,951 eligible voters available for the candidates to capture and convince in their contest to win this seat.
HEAD TO HEAD SHOWDOWN
Here’s a quick glance at how a head-to-head showdown between challenger Kendall L. Baker and State Rep. Gene Wu could have looked back on Tuesday, March 1, 2016, if we added (for sake of hypothetical analysis and projection) the actual votes they received, plus the number of under votes that were recorded in their respective primary races:
KENDALL L. BAKER
2,869 (REPUBLICAN PRIMARY VOTES)
+ 1,778 (UNDER VOTES) = 4,647
Source: The numbers used in this chart were taken from data provided in the Harris County Clerk's election results for the Tuesday, March 1, 2016 Republican Primary. Click this link to view the actual turnout numbers and data. Call (281)788-3033 if you have any questions about this report.
2,957 (DEMOCRATIC PRIMARY VOTES)
+ 798 (UNDER VOTES) = 3,755
Source: The numbers used in this chart were taken from data provided in the Harris County Clerk's election results for the Tuesday, March 1, 2016 Democratic Primary. Click this link to view the actual turnout numbers and data. Call (281)788-3033 if you have any questions about this report.
QUESTION: WHAT ARE UNDER VOTES?
An under vote occurs when the number of choices selected by voters in a contest is less than the minimum number allowed for that contest. However, an under vote can also occur when a voter chooses to not vote in a particular (race) or contest. The graphic above shows the number of votes each candidate received in the Tuesday, March 1, 2016 “Primary Election” for their respective Party.
PREVAILING QUESTION: WHICH CANDIDATE WINS IF ALL ELIGIBLE VOTERS VOTE?
Given the above statistical analysis, the prevailing and reasonable question at this juncture may be, “Which candidate would be polling in first place if ALL eligible voters in District 137 had voted in the March 1, 2016 Primary election, OR, may be easily projected to win the seat if ALL eligible voters actually come to the polls and vote in the November 8, 2016 General Election?” ANSWER? It Depends.
VOTERS SHOULD VOTE FOR THE BEST QUALIFIED CANDIDATES
Voters in Texas have options that bear significantly on the outcome of races. On Tuesday, November 8, 2016, voters in Texas will have the “OPTION” of voting “STRAIGHT‐TICKET.” However, they will also be afforded the “OPTION” to vote a “STRAIGHT‐TICKET,” yet at the same time, “SELECT INDIVIDUAL CANDIDATES” in races where they identify a “BETTER QUALIFIED” or “BETTER EQUIPPED” candidate whom they feel may represent their interests. In other words, voters may vote strictly according to “Party” lines, or may opt to “cross-over” to vote for their candidates of choice in particular races.
STRAIGHT TICKET VOTING WILL BE KEY IN NOVEMBER GENERAL ELECTION
The coveted “STRAIGHT TICKET” vote will be a key factor in the race for State Representative for House District 137. Remember, voters could not vote a “STRAIGHT TICKET” in either the “DEMOCRATIC PRIMARY” or “REPUBLICAN PRIMARY” held back on Tuesday, March 1, 2016. But, “STRAIGHT TICKET” voting will be allowed in the Tuesday, November 8, 2016 “PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION” when Kendall L. Baker and State Rep. Gene Wu face off in the race for State Representative House District 137.
OVERVIEW OF STRAIGHT‐TICKET VOTING IN TEXAS
According to information obtained from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia: In Texas, a vote for a straight‐ party ticket casts votes for all party candidates in all races where the party is fielding a candidate and the voter is eligible to cast a vote, from the President/Vice President (or Governor) to the county constable or justice of the peace.
A voter, however, may opt to vote a straight‐party ticket and subsequently cast an individual vote in a particular race. This may happen in cases where
1. the voter's party did not field a candidate in a specific race, and the voter wants to cast a vote in that race for one of the candidates from another party, and/or
2. the voter does not wish to support the party's candidate in a specific race, but wishes to vote for another candidate in that race. (However, Texas does not have a "none of the above" option. In a case where a voter wishes not to vote for any candidate in a race where his/her party is fielding one, the voter must cast a vote in each individual race separately and cannot choose the straight‐party option.) An individual vote will override the straight‐party vote, but only in those specific races where an individual’s vote is actually cast.
IS DISTRICT 137 REALLY A DEMOCRATIC STRONGHOLD?
House District 137 is widely considered to be a Democratic district. However, given the historic low voter turnout for this district, Kendall L. Baker (or any other candidate) is more than capable of winning House District 137 with the right ground game and funding. However, it’s hard to defeat incumbents without the necessary funds to do so – that is why supporting the candidates you believe in is crucial.
Campaign contributions are a key component that enables a given candidate to mount an aggressive campaign focused on engagement, education and mobilization.
THE LIBERTARIAN FACTOR
Dan Biggs, a Libertarian candidate, will also be on the Tuesday, November 8, 2016 “GENERAL ELECTION” Ballot in the race for State Representative for House District 137 along with Kendall L. Baker and State Rep. Gene Wu. The fact that this is a “PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION” year may also be a factor.
NUMBER OF REGISTERED VOTERS IN HOUSE DISTRICT 137
Based on numbers obtained from the latest election returns published by the Harris County Clerk, there are approximately 49,964 registered voters living in House District 137.
NUMBER OF VOTING AGE RESIDENTS LIVING IN HOUSE DISTRICT 137
At the time the last Census Report numbers were released, there were 127,834 residents of voting age living in House District 137. Kendall L. Baker will need to convince these voting age residents to turn out for him on Tuesday, November 8, 2016. He must encourage the vast majority of these presently registered voters to turn out for him. But he must also engage and encourage those who are not currently registered to vote to get registered to vote by Tuesday, October 11, 2016.
NUMBER OF VOTING AGE ANGLO RESIDENTS IN HOUSE DISTRICT 137
At the time the last Census Report numbers were released, 24,006 residents of voting age identified themselves as “ANGLO” in House District 137. To defeat the incumbent, Kendall L. Baker will need to connect with these residents and convince these ANGLO voters that he is the best person to represent their interests and to be their voice in the legislature.
NUMBER OF VOTING AGE BLACK RESIDENTS IN HOUSE DISTRICT 137
At the time the last Census Report numbers were released, 24,597 residents of voting age identified themselves as “BLACK” OR “AFRICAN AMERICAN” in House District 137. To defeat the incumbent, Kendall L. Baker will have to convince BLACK voters living in House District 137 to “CROSSOVER” and vote for him. Many of these voters will be registered Democrats. However, if Baker reaches out to these voters and connects with these voters on a personal level through an effective “ground game” or campaign strategy, they may give him just the boost of voter support he needs to prevail in capturing this seat. Kendall L. Baker can tell these voters to go ahead and vote their “STRAIGHT‐TICKET”; BUT ask them to go back and vote specifically for him in the race for State Representative for House District 137. If Baker convinces a small portion of the Democratic BLACK voters in House District 137 to “CROSSOVER,” he could very well defeat Wu in this race.
VOTING AGE HISPANIC RESIDENTS IN HOUSE DISTRICT 137
Contrary to popular belief, House District 137 is not an Asian district as some people proclaim.
At the time the last Census Report numbers were taken, 65,881 of the voting age residents living in House District 137 identified themselves as “HISPANIC.” Given this statistic, outreach to HISPANIC voters, precincts, and neighborhoods must be a vital part of Kendall L. Baker’s ground game if he plans to defeat the incumbent. Baker should develop and send out campaign material in English and Spanish. He should also spend a considerable amount of time “BLOCK WALKING” in HISPANIC neighborhoods to let them know that he is the man who will represent their interests in the legislature.
OTHER VOTING AGE RESIDENTS LIVING IN HOUSE DISTRICT 137
At the time the last Census Report numbers were taken, there were roughly 14,819 residents of voting age living in House District 137. This group of voting age residents includes a large number of Asian voters and serves as the voter base for State Rep. Gene Wu. However, Kendall L. Baker should not concede these voters to the incumbent. Rather, Baker should try to identify people within this group who feel underserved and convince them that he’s the best candidate to represent their interests and concerns in the legislature should they choose to elect him on Tuesday, November 8, 2016.
ABOUT THE PUBLISHER
Aubrey R. Taylor, President and CEO of Aubrey R. Taylor Communications, Publisher of Houston Business Connections Newspaper® and Ground Game Magazine®, has more than 25 years of experience working directly with candidates, campaigns, small businesses and corporations on branding and marketing related strategies. Call (281)788‐3033 for more information.