It looks like Chris Bell is beginning to realize what most people already knew - he cannot win this five-way race for governor. Now, he's shown his desperation by asking one of his opponents to quit the race. Yesterday, Bell placed a call to the Kinky Friedman campaign, asking Kinky to quit the race and throw his support to Chris Bell.
In a prepared statement, Bell said:
"Kinky and I both want what's best for the state, and Rick Perry and Carole Strayhorn are not what's best for Texas. They are the problem. Kinky and I agree on some very important issues, and our supporters all have a lot in common; they want change. And now is the time for us all to unite and elect a new governor."
Kinky was quick to reply to this absurd request:
"We're in this race to win this race. He knows he can't win the race with us in it, but I'm not getting out. I'm ahead of him. Why would I be the one surrendering?"
There are a couple of things wrong with the request from Bell. First, after a week in which many thought Bell had won the debate, and after picking up a huge new donor, it looked like things might be looking up for Bell. The call to Kinky erases all that and gives the perception that he is getting desperate, and knows he cannot win.
Also, he seems to presume that if Kinky were not running, he would have Kinky's votes. This is just not true. While Kinky is picking up Democrats, he is picking up even more Republicans. If he were to drop out, it would help Grandma and Perry as much or more than it would help Bell. Especially since many Kinky supporters are angry with the Democrats for their attacks on Kinky.
This was a ridiculous move by Bell, and probably destroys any momentum he picked up last week.