People are asking for it so here it is. Turnout is reportedly huge, but you’re watching mainly for the details. Perry’s going to win the three-way race with Hutchison and Medina; the question is whether he’ll take 50 percent and avoid the run-off or whether the tea-party candidate can peel enough support away from him to force a showdown with KBH on April 13. In a way, this is a local version of the Palin/Romney dynamic I wrote about earlier: Perry’s the “true conservative” populist and Hutchison’s the establishment centrist. Which would you rather be in a Texas primary?
Congressional primaries are happening tonight too; as I write this, with just two percent or precincts reporting, America’s Greatest Patriot is pulling almost 80 percent of the vote in the 14th District against three tea-party challengers. Sigh. You can follow results at the Secretary of State’s site or the Houston Chronicle. Updates to come when we have a winner (and margin).
Update: Oh … my.
Ballot Prop #4: Public Acknowledgement of God
YES 552,413 95.20%
NO 27,821 4.79%
Update: It’s 10:30 on the east coast and Fox is airing Hutchison’s concession. Still some suspense, though: With only 28 percent reporting, Perry has 52 percent of the vote. The margin of error to avoid a run-off is slim…
Update: She wasn’t kidding with that concession. Rick Perry’s your nominee.
Hutchison is set to announce that she will not pursue a runoff even if Perry does not break the majority threshold to win the nomination outright, according to sources.
Perry, who is seeking a third full term as governor, led Hutchison 52-31 percent in their primary Tuesday, with 23 percent of precincts reporting. He needed 50 percent-plus-one to advance outright to the general election.
He moves on to face Houston Mayor Bill White, who sailed to victory in the Democratic primary and gives his party a well-funded candidate in a general election that the national Democratic Party is already targeting.
No sense in pursuing a runoff, really. Medina’s tea-party voters probably would have broken for Perry anyway.