Are the political winds in Texas blowing back toward the Democrats? If a new poll is correct, that is exactly what is happening.
An Austin Democratic poll says that when 1053 Texans were asked which party cares more about "people like me", 46% said Democrats and 35% said Republicans. I know some of you are saying that's what you would expect from a Democratic poll, but just two years ago this same poll showed Republicans leading when the same question was asked.
Even more significant is the fact that more people are now identifying themselves as Democrats. Here is what the poll showed on the question of party identity for 2004, 2005 and 2006:
Pollster Jeff Montgomery pointed out that this was a poll of adults, and not specifically a poll of voters. He says, "Clearly, Texas is still a Republican state. But this is the first time people have even shown much interest in calling themselves Democrats."
Cal Jillson, SMU political science professor, was more pointed in his observations on the poll. He says, "There is an attitude change nationally that is affecting Texas. People are increasingly concerned with the results they see from the Republican majority. In Austin, those numbers are playing themselves out in the hanging of Tom Craddick. Republicans have begun to panic that the unease in the public is going to be taken out of their hide."
Texas was a bit slow in joining the new political shift, but it is starting to happen. Too bad it couldn't have happened before last November's elections. I suspect that some of Texas' slowness to join the national shift is because many in the state view Bush as a Texan.
It looks like amid his nearly total incompetence, Bush has been able to accomplish one thing. It took him six years, but he is well on his way to destroying the Republican party -- even in Texas.