By Even Academic Standards, David Dewhurst is “centrist”
In the race for U.S. Senate in Texas, the conservative candidate clearly is Ted Cruz. His record of fighting for conservative ideals is clear, as I have noted before. Senator DeMint has endorsed him, as has Senator Mike Lee, the Club for Growth and a number of other important conservative voices.
But the establishment and conventional wisdom remains behind Lt. Gov Dewhurst as the favorite – despite the fact he has shown relatively poor polling, mediocre fundraising and is relying on his personal wealth to try to persuade Texans he is actually conservative. But the truth is hard to hide. I have pointed out before that Dewhurst is a moderate in the mold of Florida Governor Charlie Crist. Thus, we affectionately refer to him as Dewcrist.
Everyone in Austin knows DewCrist is a moderate. Everyone in Austin knows he stands in the way of conservative policy. Everyone in Austin knows he would be the first guy in the U.S. Senate to join the “club” and saddle up to Mitch McConnell to be a “team player,” no matter what principle dictates or what the people of Texas actually want.
But now, even academic research is making this crystal clear. In the Texas Tribune, Rice University Professor Mark Jones explains his rather detailed analysis of Dewcrist and his ideological placement among those in the Texas Senate, the body over which he presides as Lt. Governor. Jones describes him as follows:
“Is Dewhurst a “moderate?” Yes, if by that one means that he would appear to be significantly less conservative than approximately one-third of the Republican delegation in the Texas Senate.”
“The [data] reveals a Dewhurst-run Senate where the senators who enjoyed the most success were in the moderate and center wings of the Republican Party. Bills opposed by these senators rarely were passed — a sharp contrast with both their more conservative colleagues as well as the most liberal members of the Democratic delegation.”
Reports of cheering from Mitch McConnell’s office just came in…
The problem with the race for Senate in Texas is that no one is focusing on it and too many people believe Dewcrist is actually conservative because he can hide behind Governor Perry’s conservative leadership and he is ostensibly pro-life. But when push comes to shove, Dewcrist has consistently been a “centrist” – which is not-too-tricky-code for future establishment hack in Washington if we don’t stand up for the only real conservative in the race, Ted Cruz.