Video: Watch David Dewhurst Vs. Dan Patrick In Republican Lieutenant Governor Debate
Because of a satellite problem, the KERA-TV feed of Friday night's Republican lieutenant governor debate switched to Spanish midway through the debate.
You can see the full English-language version of the debate between David Dewhurst and Dan Patrick below -- it will also re-air Friday at 9 p.m. on KERA-TV (Channel 13).
The debate was broadcast from the studios of Houston Public Media. The runoff is May 27, and the latest polls show Dewhurst, the current lieutenant governor, far behind Patrick, a state senator.
Video of Friday's debate
Here’s a look at the race from KUHF, Houston’s public radio station:
It's unusual for the incumbent to be unseated, but Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst is as many as 20 points behind state Sen. Dan Patrick in the polls.
And there's little chance that this debate will put Dewhurst back in the lead, according to Jon Taylor, who chairs the Political Science Department at the University of St. Thomas.
"Let's use a football analogy: Rice vs Florida State. Does Rice have a chance? Sure. A puncher's chance,” Taylor said. “Is it much of a shot? The answer's no. And that's what we're going to see on Friday night, is whether or not Dewhurst is already aware that he's going to lose."
Taylor does expect to see Dewhurst go on the attack against Patrick, but says it'll be too little, too late.
At Texas Southern University, Jay Aiyer is an assistant professor of public policy. He says voters might see a new side of Dan Patrick in this debate.
"It might be a situation where it's almost a role reversal, where Sen. Patrick is really going to take the role of trying to be a statesman and sort of above it,” Aiyer said. “Kind of the Rose Garden victory lap strategy. And Lt. Gov. Dewhurst may take on the mantle of the attack dog, which is what we customarily think of when we think of Sen. Patrick."
Political pundits say Dewhurst will need a blowout performance at Friday’s debate if he is to gain traction in the race.
Just when some had believed incumbent David Dewhurst’s campaign had gone flat, he emerged with a set of attacks, alleging that his opponent Dan Patrick had changed his name to avoid the IRS.
From the ad: “Dan Patrick also got caught not paying his taxes, pocketing his employees’ payroll taxes and changing his name from Danny Goeb to hide from the debt.”
But when examined more closely, those allegations turned out to be false and Patrick’s campaign seized the moment.
From a Patrick ad: “The Austin-American Statesman calls Dewhurst’s attack on Patrick a ‘pants on fire’ liar. Dewhurst’s lie won’t hide his failed record on illegal immigration.”
The two candidates will be asked a series of questions regarding not only immigration, but also infrastructure, border security, energy and the environment.
Rice University Political Science Professor Mark Jones says Dewhurst needs to win this debate by a wide margin.
“All Dan Patrick needs is a draw or even a slight loss,” Jones said. “Whereas David Dewhurst needs a blowout victory, which is going to be next to impossible unless Dan Patrick has a meltdown on the debate stage.”
For that reason, Jones predicts Dewhurst will immediately come out firing against Patrick during Friday night’s debate.
In January, Dewhurst and Patrick faced off in the KERA studios in a lieutenant governor's debate, which also featured Jerry Patterson and Todd Staples. Dewhurst and Patrick advanced to the May 27 runoff. Watch the January debate.