And simple as it seems:
vote for the candidates you like best
Tuesday is primary day. If you didn’t vote early, remember to stop by the polls tomorrow.
I want to encourage everyone to vote for the candidates they like the most. Despite calls by some for Democrats to vote in the Republican primary to derail Gov. Rick Perry, I think this is a terrible idea. Democrats should cross party lines to vote for Medina or Hutchison only if they would like to see one of them as governor.
In 2004, Democrats chose John Kerry as the nominee for president. While all the passion was for Howard Dean, the primary votes went to Kerry.
Asking people why they voted for Kerry, the most common answer I heard was, “Because everyone else likes him. He has the best chance.” His campaign lacked volunteers, money and enthusiasm.
Getting elected takes more than being the person everyone else likes. No one is going to work for a candidate someone else likes and a successful campaign takes many volunteers. Many will just not even bother to vote.
Earlier this year Annise Parker was elected mayor of Houston. Her opponents had more money. She had more volunteers than all of her opponents combined and she won.
In that 2004 race, I had interviewed most of the candidates. Kerry was aloof and his campaign staff was obnoxious. Kucinich had some interesting ideas but was one of the most difficult people to interview. Questions were treated like challenges rather than, well, questions.
Another candidate was engaging, funny, had great ideas and didn’t make it onto the Texas ballot. Even though her campaign ran short of money, I voted for her in the caucus portion of the primary process. And I was about the only person in Dallas County who did. Did I waste my vote? No. I voted for the candidate I liked.
In the primary, I encourage people to vote for the person you like best in each race and let the chips fall where they may. If enough people agree with you, that person will be the nominee. Changing parties or voting for a candidate you don’t like to hurt another candidate is a strategy that has never worked.