Today’s the last day for early voting in Texas. To celebrate the big day – and preview the even bigger day next Tuesday, KERA's vice president of news Rick Holter sat down with the man known as "The Political Junkie." Ken Rudin is a former NPR political editor who now runs the Political Junkie podcast and website.
Interview Highlights: Ken Rudin…
…On the lack of drama in the Texas race:
“Texas is a big enough state that we thought it would be kind of competitive. Wendy Davis got a lot of attention with the abortion filibuster. With all the money she’s raised -- $37 million – that is not small change for a Democrat in Texas, that’s more change for a Democrat anywhere.
We were watching that race to see if the Republicans could keep their 20-year monopoly on the governor-ship, and it looks like it will happen because Wendy Davis doesn’t seem to have run the kind of campaign that once upon a time, national Democrats thought she would.”
…On the impact of the demographic shift in Texas:
“One of the arguments Republicans like Jeb Bush have made is how Republicans need to change their philosophy on immigration overhaul. They say, ‘look, there are demographic changes coming.’ I don’t see those demographic changes happening in 2014.
Down the line, in 2020, when the demographic changes are supposed to be really coming and then perhaps the congressional district lines are changed, we may see a major kind of change.”
…On what surprised him in this midterm election season:
“We thought going into 2014 that the Republican shutdown of Congress last fall was going to really hurt the Republican party in 2014 but that seems to have fallen by the wayside.
With all the things going on in the country and around the world – everything from Ebola to ISIS to just a sense that the world is just falling apart and nothing is getting done – a lot of people are saying ‘you have to blame somebody’ and you have to blame the guy in the White House, so the Republicans are taking advantage of it and the Democrats are running scared for their lives.”
Listen to Ken’s Political Junkie 2014 Midterm Election Special: