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Political Climate Threatens Democrats Locally and Nationally

July 21, 2010

Ashley Cruseturner, professor of history of McLennan Community College, says that the political climate in 2010 is unfavorable towards Democrats like Chet Edwards, particularly in an overwhelmingly Republican district. So a candidate like Republican nominee Bill Flores could pick off a seat that the GOP sees as ripe for the picking. That's a theme voters in Central Texas can expect to hear frequently as the election approaches.

It's true that the congressman has regularly voted with his party and for the current party leadership, but it's also true that he's differed with them on issues like the military, health care, and cap and trade. So when the Republicans say Edwards votes with the Democrats over 90% of the time, and Demcrats tout Edwards' independence, there's truth in both, says Ashley Cruseturner.

Democrat State Representative Jim Dunnam, speaking for the state party, says that Edwards, however, represents the people of the district better than some would have you think. Says Dunnam, that resonates with the people of this district.

And that's one factor experts expect Edwards to attempt to exploit. Place. Bill Flores, like Edwards, is a Texas A & M graduate. But he only moved back into the district 3 years ago, which is a factor that has hurt previous Republican candidates.

Still, experts like Cruseturner wonder if this is the year that past history is irrelevant, and the national factors combine to bring about a change in who represents the district. We'll conclude our week-long look at the race with predictions about the tenor of the next few months leading to election day. You can see prior stories online at kwbu.org. For KWBU news, I'm Derek Smith.

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