Texas, Our Swing State?

Republicans vs. numerous, though undecided, Democrats

Though The Texas gubernatorial election won't take place until a distant Nov. 2, 2010, the arduous level of campaigning already taking place leaves one wondering just how much it could intensify in that amount of time.

A recent Gallup poll indicates that the Republican candidates might want to redirect their energy from campaigning against each other, to proving themselves against the previously less-threatening Democratic candidates.

The poll results showed that Texas is officially a "competitive" state, rather than solidly Republican, meaning it doesn't show a party advantage greater than two points.

“The Gallup Poll confirms the fact that the Democratic Party is once again competitive in Texas. We can win the governor’s race if we offer voters serious and thoughtful answers to the challenges we face instead of the cheap political rhetoric we have been getting from the Republicans,” Ambassador and Democratic candidate Tom Schieffer said.

It also showed that 42 percent of Texans lean Democratic, while 40 percent lean Republican.

"It is important to note that these categories only apply to the state population's party leanings and are not necessarily indicative of a party's electoral strength in that state," Gallup said in a statement.

Despite Perry's secessionist antics and campaigning with Sarah Palin, the poll actually indicates a slight increase in Republican leanings. Last year the same poll showed 43.4 percent of Texans leaned Democratic, while 41 percent leaned Republican.

The Democratic Party might prove more formidable once it organizes better. A poll conducted by the University of Texas at Austin last month showed that more than 70 percent of Democrats remain undecided in their party's race for governor. Kinky Friedman, Ambassador Tom Schieffer and Mark Thompson are the only official candidates at this time.

Holly LaFon has written and worked for various local publications including D Magazine and Examiner.

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