Dr. Murray sells out!
Dr. Richard Murray, from whom I took Constitutional Law at the University of
Houston in 1970 and who is now the political consultant to the Houston Chronicle,
continues on with the Tony Sanchez "Hispanic vote magnet" insanity.
In the below article, Dr. Murray says regarding the Houston Mayor's Race,
"Republicans would have earned real points if they'd won. (Orlando Sanchez was a
Republican) By not winning, they gained very little of anything. Next year, you've got
another Sanchez running," says Murray, referring to Laredo multimillionaire Tony
Sanchez, who is seeking the Democratic gubernatorial nomination. "But guess what?
He's the wrong kind of Hispanic (as for as the Republicans are concerned), he has
got a D (Democrat) behind his name, and that Sanchez will get 85 to 88 percent of
the Hispanic vote."
Well this is stupid because the Scripps Howard poll yesterday showed that Perry
had 25% of the Hispanics to Sanchez 31%. In the September Scripps Howard poll,
Perry got 37% to Sanchez 41%.
So the Hispanic lead of Sanchez over Perry with respect to Hispanic votes is not that
much when the choice is White Republican and Hispanic Democrat.
In Houston, it was a Hispanic Republican and a Black Democrat. Only the hard
core Hispanic Democrats are going to vote for a Black Democrat. In Houston, the
moderate Hispanic Democrats voted race over Party. (This is a something to be
looked at by Ron Kirk in the Democratic Senate Primary. He's not going to get the
Hispanic vote. Here is where the Hispanic Democrats will get 90% of the Hispanic
(And in the statewide governor's race if the match up is Perry v. Sanchez as
opposed to a local Mayor's race, the moderate White Democrats are going
to cross Party lines and vote for the White Perry the way the moderate
Hispanic Democrats crossed Party lines to vote for the Hispanic Sanchez.
Racial prejudice is still very much alive in Texas. If Sanchez is the
Democratic candidate for governor, the Democrats will lose more White
Democrats to Perry than gain Hispanic Republicans who cross Party lines to
vote for Sanchez. That is the reality of the current political landscape in
Texas. The Democrats are in peril and running a Hispanic Sanchez for
governor as opposed to a White WorldPeace is suicide. If both candidates
for governor are White, the race issue disappears and people will tend vote
along Party lines.)
The most significant and unreported factor is that the Hispanic vote moved from
78% and 22% allegedly undecided in September to 56% and 44% allegedly
undecided in December. Now what has happened in three months to cause Perry to
lose 12% of the Hispanic vote and Sanchez to simultaneously lose 10% of the
The reality is that there is an unreported candidate in the Scripps Howard poll, John
WorldPeace. The reality is that another 30% of the Hispanic voters went to
WorldPeace and did not become undecided. So if Scripps Howard had asked
about WorldPeace it would have been Perry 25%, Sanchez 31% and WorldPeace
30% with 14% undecided.
The other question regarding yesterday's poll is what if the poll had not had a 36/25
Republican Democrat voter skewing? In other words, there were more identifiable
Republicans in the sample. It may be that the truth statewide is Perry at 15% and
WorldPeace and Sanchez are at 35%. Who knows? The pollsters were so
interested in ignoring WorldPeace they generated a poll that created more questions
than it answered.
The Houston Chronicle has never stopped touting Tony Sanchez over WorldPeace
in the Democratic Party primary. Now they have their political analysts, Dr.
Murphy, talking pure nonsense and contrary to the reality of two Scripps Howard
polls regarding a Perry Sanchez match up next November.
And none of this speaks to the issue of the Sanchez mafia connections and lack of a
military record in these terroristic times. Sanchez is poison for the Democrats.
The next governor of Texas
December 9, 2001
Dec. 8, 2001, 8:04PM
Latinos win in mayoral election
Hispanic turnout at polls is hailed as a benchmark
By LORI RODRIGUEZ
Copyright 2001 Houston ChronicleMinority Affairs Writer
Councilman Orlando Sanchez lost his bid to become Houston's first Hispanic mayor,
but in the race to empower the city's largest and most booming ethnic group, his
fellow Latinos won the day.
Notoriously weak at the ballot box, Hispanic voters streamed to the polls in record
numbers in the Nov. 6 general election and cast most of their votes for a man many
saw as a brother. In the runoff, they managed the historically unthinkable and turned
out in even greater numbers.
When the dust settled, Latino voters, according to exit polls and analysis by the
University of Houston Center for Mexican-American Studies, accounted for 18
percent of the electorate, double their turnout when Rob Mosbacher squared off
against Mayor Lee Brown four years ago.
"That's a very phenomenal increase," says political scientist Tatcho Mindiola, director
of the center. "We haven't had that many wins. We haven't had that many
opportunities to elect one of our own. When that chance comes, we take it.
"It's a benchmark election and would have been even more so if Sanchez had won.
But still, it showed that we've become major players and a force to be reckoned
The faceoff between Sanchez and Brown, Houston's first black mayor, came on the
heels of the New York municipal election in which Republican Michael Bloomberg
was boosted over the top by the defection of usually Democratic Hispanics.
Both races drew the national spotlight. But it was Sanchez's quixotic quest to topple
Brown, a four-year incumbent, that became a major battleground for the hearts and
souls of the country's fastest-growing electorate.
President Bush's endorsement of Sanchez was featured in full-page newspaper ads
and splashy campaign mailers; former President Bush and former first lady Barbara
Bush cut a warm-and-fuzzy TV spot, as did outgoing New York Mayor Rudolph
The Republican Party poured resources into Sanchez's fight even as the Democratic
Party dispatched its prime-time strategists to shore up Brown's flagging effort.
Targeted Hispanic voters were bombarded daily with bilingual mailers, Spanish radio
spots and TV commercials by both campaigns.
It all worked. In the Dec. 1 runoff, the hard-fought contest drew countless new or
infrequent voters to the polls. A full 10 percent of all voters were naturalized citizens,
according to the UH exit poll, the bulk of them Hispanic. More than 70 percent of all
Hispanic voters had voted fewer than 10 times in their lives; more than 15 percent
had voted fewer than five times.
"Although the Hispanic candidate didn't win, the Hispanic community won overall,"
concludes Hector de Leon, regional director of the National Association of Latino
Elected and Appointed Officials, or NALEO. "Our message has always been that
the more Hispanics vote, regardless of who they vote for, the more influence and
power they'll have."
Bolstered by staff from its Los Angeles headquarters, NALEO conducted a massive
voter mobilization drive that targeted 50,000 Hispanics who rarely or never had
voted. In Los Angeles, where former Assembly Speaker Antonio Villaraigosa last
summer tried to become that city's first Hispanic mayor, a similar drive helped boost
Latino turnout from 24 percent of registered voters to 38 percent; the overall city
turnout was 37 percent.
NALEO has not yet completed its analysis of the local effort. But on the campaign
trail, Sanchez repeatedly strove to mobilize his fellow Latinos, calling it a key
mission. Councilman Gabriel Vasquez, a Democratic Mexican-American who
endorsed Brown, believes Sanchez succeeded.
"This was the very first time that a candidate spent so much effort and money to
educate and turn out Latinos," says Vasquez. "The community responded by turning
out and by voting as a bloc, because anything over 60 percent is a bloc.
"Latinos also came back to the polls in the runoff, but it was because attention was
given to the community, resources were poured into it and there was a concerted
effort to engage them.
"The community will respond."
Nearly three of every four Hispanics, or 72 percent, voted for Sanchez in the runoff,
a stunning showing for a Republican first-generation immigrant from Cuba who is
"Obviously, Sanchez was the major factor driving Hispanics," says Mindiola. "He
was a well-financed, charismatic and attractive candidate who managed to galvanize
"The norm turnout for us is 8 to 9 percent; a good turnout is 10 to 11 percent. In the
general election we were close to 13 percent of the electorate, and in the runoff that
jumped to 18 percent.
"That's a significant jump and signals in a very dramatic way our entree as major
players in this community."
Demographers had predicted for two decades that Hispanics would become the
city's largest ethnic group in 2005; it happened by the 2000 Census. Hispanics are
now 37.4 percent of the population. Many are too young to vote, and close to half
are new immigrants who lack the franchise that citizenship someday will bring.
But between the general and runoff elections, as the disciplined African-American
electorate increased its turnout by 30 percent in support of a black mayor in political
trouble, Hispanic turnout also jumped, says University of Houston political scientist
"I'd estimate Latinos were 36,000 voters in the first round and more than 40,000 in
the second round, and that's getting to be a pretty sizable bloc of voters," says
Murray. "If there had been the same degree of cohesion for Sanchez among
Hispanics as there was for Brown among blacks, Sanchez would have won. Brown
did get about 28 percent of the Hispanic vote."
Threatened with the loss of the city's first black mayor to a candidate who
personified the emerging and growingly competitive Latino community, almost every
black voter closed ranks behind Brown in a monolithic showing.
That will never happen with Latinos, who are increasingly diverse, politically
ambivalent and rife with internecine rivalries.
"No way," says Murray. "Even in Florida with the Cuban-Americans, a very highly
motivated group with a unique set of shared experiences, 40 percent voted for Bill
Clinton in 1996. Bush picked up more in 2000, but there are just too many diverse
strains in the Latino population.
"Also, as Hispanics move up the socioeconomic ladder, middle- and upper-class
Hispanics vote more like middle- and upper-class whites. We don't see much of that
in the black community. The wealthiest black precinct votes like the poorest black
The Republicans' extravagant embrace of Sanchez was a gamble they had to take.
Hispanics edged past blacks and then whites to become the largest ethnic group in
Houston; in the 2000 national head count, they also drew neck and neck with
blacks, until now the country's largest minority group.
"It was well worth the shot because they would have had a national star they could
have promoted," says Murray.
But Brown, a Democratic Party stalwart who has campaigned alongside former Vice
President Al Gore, blunted Sanchez's potent Hispanic-white coalition with the
support of the mainly Democratic, traditional Mexican-American elected leadership.
"Republicans would have earned real points if they'd won. By not winning, they
gained very little of anything. Next year, you've got another Sanchez running," says
Murray, referring to Laredo multimillionaire Tony Sanchez, who is seeking the
Democratic gubernatorial nomination. "But guess what? He's the wrong kind of
Hispanic, has got a D behind his name, and that Sanchez will get 85 to 88 percent of
the Hispanic vote."
Hispanics, innately conservative on some issues and politically ambivalent, segue
easily between both major parties; Orlando Sanchez and Tony Sanchez, who are not
related, both benefit from the growing Hispanic vote. Because 60 percent to 70
percent of Hispanics historically are Democratic, says Murray, the shift is more
profound in a nonpartisan race like Sanchez's mayoral run.
"But it gets a lot closer to that bloc vote when the Sanchez is a Democrat, because
you get the two-fer going," Murray says. "He's a Mexican-American and a
Racial appeals and charges from both the Brown and Sanchez camps swirled on the
airwaves and on the ground. Ultimately, Brown's credible share of support from
hard-core Hispanic Democrats prevented an overt black-brown war.
But the history is there.
Sheila Jackson Lee, now a congresswoman, beat longtime Hispanic leader Leonel
Castillo in a 1989 City Council race. Two years later, attorney Gracie Saenz
defeated incumbent Councilwoman Beverley Clark. Clark and Jackson Lee are
Both elections left some hard feelings.
"But it's unavoidable," Mindiola says, "especially now that Latinos have overtaken
blacks as the largest ethnic group in the city.
"It's just a harbinger of things to come."