By Jim Schutze
By Rachel Watts
By Lauren Drewes Daniels
By Anna Merlan
By Lee Escobedo
Words of wiz-dumb: Here's an interesting bit of polling news reported by political Web site Daily Kos: Democrat Rick Noriega has pulled within 4 points of...beg your pardon? Who's that, you ask?
Noriega is a candidate for U.S. Senate, running against incumbent John Cornyn. Anyway, recent polls show...
No, not that Panama dictator guy. That was Manuel.
No, no, no, not the pickup truck guy. That was...um...the other Latino fellow who ran for Senate a while back. His name escapes us right now.
Aaaaanyway, Rick Noriega, a former state representative from Houston, is doing surprisingly well in his race against Cornyn, according to a Research 2000 Texas Poll, which shows him trailing 48-44. A Rasmussen poll puts the numbers at 47-43.
VICTOR MORALES! That's the guy who ran in 1996.
Whew. Seriously people, how will Buzz ever fulfill our dream of sitting at the punditry table next to George Will on This Week if you don't pay attention?
It is the role of the pundit to take early, virtually meaningless polling data and spin elaborate thought exercises about What It All Means for the Future by asking Big Questions. (For those of you saying that elaborate thought seems a bit out of Buzz's depth, all we can say is "bite it," which oddly enough would be what we'd say to George Will most weeks.) Here's our big question: Will Noriega's apparent success help Barack Obama at the top of the ticket with Texas Latinos who favored Hillary Clinton as presidential nominee—a sort of reverse coattails effect?
We called Carla Vela, chair of the Bexar County Democratic Party in heavily Latino South Texas. "I think Bexar County will still come out for Rick Noriega" with Obama OR Clinton at the top of the ticket, Vela said, which didn't exactly sound like a ringing endorsement for our reverse coattails theory, which, truthfully, was a bit hard to explain to a woman we reached on her cell phone as she walked through a store. "I think Noriega is basically doing his own campaign," Vela said. "[There's] a lot of excitement, especially here in Bexar County. He's the main one we're focusing on."
That probably will help whoever is the Democratic presidential nominee, since Vela doesn't expect a lot of ticket-splitting, with voters casting Noriega-John McCain ballots.
Therefore, to sum up, vis-a-vis the Buzz Reverse Coattails Theory: Could be true. Maybe not. We'll just have to wait and see.
George Stephanapoppapamoose, are you impressed? If so, send lucrative job offers to Buzz, care of this newspaper.