Why Jeffress Will Win the Runoff

by Jason Tolbert ([email protected]) 96 views 

I was amused yesterday by a press release I got from the National Republican Congressional Committee (NRCC) called “As Support for ObamaCare Crumbles, Does Hurst Back the Dem HealthCare Takeover Backup Plan?”

It is the typical cookie cutter press release where the NRCC drops a name in to an issue that they think will stick.

The amusing thing is they think Hurst has a shot at winning the runoff and being the nominee.  He doesn't and here is why:

  1. Geography – The fact is the the geography of the runoff favor areas where State Sen. Gene Jeffress is strong. There is a State Senate Democratic runoff in District 26 between Rep. Eddie Cheatham and former Rep. Gregg Reep.  This is roughly the same district that Gene Jeffress' brother, Sen. Jimmy Jeffress, has represented for close to a decade.  Also, there are House Democratic runoffs in District 7 between John Baine and Albert Glover and in District 10 between Mike Holcomb and Dorothy Hall, which is all in areas Jeffress did well in during the primary on May 22. The only runoff in Garland County – which is Hurst's strongest showing – is a JP race on the Republican side. The down ballot races will drive turnout in Jeffress' strongest areas.
  2. Cash Equality – During the primary, Hurst held a large fundraising advantage over Jeffress. He spent over $220,000 with almost $150,000 on media ad buys in the last few weeks before May 22.  Not only was the money not enough to finish ahead of Jeffress, but he burned through his cash finishing with only around $4,400 cash left in the bank.  That means unless he has suddenly raised a ton of money – which does not appear to be the case although he did loan his campaign another $30,000 – his cash advantage is now gone for the runoff creating an equal playing field with Jeffress.
  3. Hurst Personal Problems – The story breaking days after the primary was that Hurst was reprimanded yet again by the Supreme Court Committee on Professional Conduct.  This alone would not have been that big of a deal except it was his 11th time to be sanctioned by the Court.  And this is on top of his tax liens with the state DFA and the IRS.  The latest sanction is just another reminder to Democratic voters that Hurst has a lot of baggage.
  4. Morrison Endorsement – This one is not a “make or break” for either candidate, but third place finisher D.C. Morrison's endorsement of Jeffress matters.  In order for Hurst to overtake Jeffress in the runoff, he has to do one of three things: (1) turn out more of his voters and Jeffress does to overtake him (see #1 above – unlikely) or (2) bring in new voters for him that did not vote in the primary (see #2 above – unlikely) or (3) win over about two-thirds of Morrison's voters to turn out and vote for him.  With Morrison's endorsement of Jeffress, this is unlikely.

In short, Jeffress should easily win the Democratic runoff. But then again I could be way off.