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Midterm with Murray
On the day before the first anniversary of President Obama’s inauguration, Republican Scott Brown won the Massachusetts special election to fill the Senate seat vacated by Ted Kennedy, the revered liberal Democrat who had held for decades the seat once occupied by his brother John F. Kennedy. Politicos knew then that the equations were reconfigured for the 2010 midterm elections, reflecting a new set of variables and reframing the discernment of the forces at play in American politics.
In the 2010 midterm elections, one-third of the Senate (34 seats), all members of the House of Representatives, and at least 36 governors are up for election. Both parties have suffered defections and intrigue, and it remains to be seen whether the electorate will continue to trust Obama’s party after the prolonged debate and eventual partisan passage of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. How will the war in Afghanistan and the state of the economy affect the midterm elections, which historically result in lost seats for the party that won the White House?
Meanwhile, back in Texas, Bill White, Houston’s popular former mayor, appears to be the strongest gubernatorial candidate Democrats have nominated since Ann Richards in 1990, giving the longest-serving Texas governor, Republican Rick Perry, the most difficult race of his career.
Perfectly positioned to explain the weave of this season’s political threads, pollster and political prognosticator Richard Murray will speak to us three times before the midterm elections and one time a week after Election Day 2010.
Richard Murray is the Bob Lanier Professor of Urban Public Policy and director of surveying for the Center for Public Policy at the University of Houston, where an endowed scholarship in his name was established in April 2008.