Okay, I know it’s early and there will be many, many more bad press releases to choose from by the time the race for Texas Lt. Governor is over in May. Sen. Dan Patrick had the early lead in this one because of his multiple errors but over the Thanksgiving holidays, Ag Commissioner Todd Staples’ campaign flew by Patrick with this one:
For Immediate ReleaseNovember 25, 2013ContactKent Sholars, 512-439-0870
ICYMI: New Analysis Says Todd Staples As Conservative As Patrick
AUSTIN- In case you missed it, Mark Jones, chairman of Rice University’s political science department, recently wrote an article in Texas Weekly, a publication of the Texas Tribune, entitled “The 2013 Senate, From Left to Right.” The article is an update to his regular statistical analysis of conservative-liberal scaled rankings for Texas lawmakers. This update focuses on the Texas Senate.
For months Dan Patrick has vigorously claimed to be the most conservative candidate in the race for Lieutenant Governor. However, according Professor Jones, this claim is false. A look at the legislative records of both candidates concludes that Todd Staples is just as conservative as Dan Patrick. This is important to note when reporting on the race for Lieutenant Governor moving forward. Professor Mark Jones’ entire analysis is below:
Dan Patrick vs. Todd Staples
Perhaps no two lieutenant governor candidates are in a more heated battle to win the hearts and minds of the state’s most conservative GOP primary voters than Dan Patrick and Agriculture Commissioner and former state Sen. Todd Staples of Palestine. While the Senate tenures of Patrick and Staples did not coincide, the two served in adjacent legislative periods, Staples in 2005 and Patrick in 2007, making it quite feasible to use joint-scaling methods to accurately compare their respective locations along the same Liberal-Conservative dimension..
This joint analysis of the 2005 and 2007 legislative periods finds Patrick and Staples had the two most conservative Lib-Con scores among the 36 senators (22 Republicans and 14 Democrats) who served in either the 2005 session alone (five senators), the 2007 session alone (five) or both sessions (25). Patrick and Staples’ respective CIs overlap considerably, indicating that, based on their most comparable roll call voting records, neither can credibly be considered noticeably more conservative than the other. In sum, Staples’ voting record was as conservative as Patrick’s, and vice versa.
Mark P. Jones is the James A. Baker III Institute for Public Policy’s Fellow in Political Science, the Joseph D. Jamail Chair in Latin American Studies and the chairman of the Department of Political Science at Rice University.# # #
That is just awful. I had high hopes for Staples but thus far his campaign isn’t exactly on fire. This is something you’d hear on the school playground – my guy is just as conservative as your guy and I can prove it!.
Sheesh. I don’t think there is a better analyst out there than Dr. Mark Jones and I’m not qualified to comment on his methodology. But I am qualified to say that the any campaign that uses Dr. Jones’ commentary on a race to “prove” that their guy is “just as conservative” as “the other guy” is on the losing end of that argument.
In other words, Sen. Patrick is still driving the narrative in this race. I know that Sen. Patrick’s negatives are high and are going to go higher when the bombs start dropping later in the campaign. But he has to be happy with where the race stands today – if he isn’t the “frontrunner”, he is certainly in the passenger’s seat to make it to a runoff. Apparently the Staples campaign agrees with me based on this press release.