Top of the Ticket

Political commentary from Andrew Malcolm

« Previous Post | Top of the Ticket Home | Next Post »

Poll shows surprising strength by Tea Party's Debra Medina in GOP race for Texas governor

Is Debra Medina the next Scott Brown?

Nobody -- well, hardly anybody outside perhaps the Medina household -- expects the small business owner and anti-Washington crusader to be the next governor of Texas. Heck, until recently she wasn’t even much of a factor in the shoot-'em-up between the two leviathans of Lone Star politics, Gov. Rick Perry and Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison.Debra Medina   

Then again, up until a couple of weeks out, nobody thought Brown -- a little-known state senator and ex-Cosmo model -- stood much chance of swiping the Massachusetts Senate seat held for almost a half century by the late Edward M. Kennedy. That said, a poll out Tuesday is raising eyebrows all over Texas.

The survey by Public Policy Polling showed Perry leading the GOP field with 39%, followed by Hutchison at 28% and Medina -- a favorite of the Tea Party crowd -- at 24%.

More significant, among self-identified conservatives -- those most likely to turn out in the March 2 primary -- Perry had 42% support to Medina’s 25% and Hutchison’s 23%.

Given the survey’s 4.8% margin of error, Hutchison, long considered the most popular politician in Texas, is effectively tied with the little-known, meagerly funded Medina.

(How meagerly? As of Tuesday, she had raised less than $600,000, a pittance compared to the $50 million Perry and Hutchison are expected to spend between them.)

Of course, no poll can be taken as gospel. The survey, conducted after last month’s second and final GOP gubernatorial debate, had a fairly small sample: 423 likely Republican voters. Still, it seems...

to bear out what many political pros are saying: Hutchison is struggling, Medina is surging and Perry -- who doesn’t exactly blow the barn doors off in terms of popularity -- seems a lot better positioned than most would have imagined a few months ago. Thanks to Medina, the GOP contest seems destined for an April run-off between the two top finishers.

The big question, for the moment at least, is whether Perry will face Hutchison or Medina -- something that enters Scott Brown territory in terms of who-wudda-thunk-it. Clearly, Medina is benefiting from the anti-incumbent anger that is burning, prairie-fire-like, across the country. But she has also gained from a pair of solid debate performances; some declared Medina the winner after the first session in mid-January.

“She was the one who came across, to judge from polls and reaction afterward, as more forthright, better prepared, quite calm and confident,” said Bruce Buchanan, a University of Texas political scientist and longtime student of state politics. “She was seemingly more gubernatorial than her opponents in some respects.”

Medina enjoyed a surge in contributions after her strong showing, followed by another after the second debate. The question is whether she can sustain the momentum, lacking a prominent statewide platform (there are no more debates scheduled) or the money for a serious advertising campaign. (Turn on the TV and just try to avoid a Perry or Hutchison spot.)

Medina has also enjoyed the luxury of facing little scrutiny on issues. (How high would the state sales tax have to go if Texas eliminates its property tax, as Medina advocates?) That probably won’t last if she is seen as a serious contender.

Already, Medina has been forced to explain away a comment she made -- "stepping off into secession may in fact be a bloody war" -- in support of states’ rights at a rally last year on the Capitol steps. (Asked about her remark during the second debate, Medina said she opposes Texas’ secession from the union, something Perry hinted at last year in his own nod to the Tea Party folks.)

Still, Medina, the former chairwoman of the Wharton County GOP, has already achieved far more than anyone expected of her campaign. Failing a successful run for governor, many see her as well positioned to replace her congressman, Ron Paul, whenever he steps down. Paul is one of Medina’s key supporters.

-- Mark Z. Barabak

Click here to receive Twitter alerts of each new Ticket item all day every day. Or follow us @latimestot.  You can also go to our new Facebook fan page here.

Photo: Medina. Credit: Associated Press.

UPDATED at 8 p.m.: An earlier version of this post said the late Edward M. Kennedy held his Massachusetts Senate set for nearly a quarter century. Kennedy held the seat for nearly half a century.

Comments () | Archives (34)

The comments to this entry are closed.

As a Texan, I can tell you the people here are fed up with politicians that say one thing and then do another. This is the first time in our lives that we have had the opportunity to throw the bums out and replace them with someone else who is not just another bum.

Our political leaders should first and foremost protect our lives, liberty, and property.

Perry wants to take away your liberty and property. By fiat he tried to mandate the medicating of all Texas daughters and then he tried to take our fellow Texan's property with his Trans Texas Corridor. When my fellow Texas disapproved of this plan he decided to just change the name of the program instead of getting rid of it.

Kay Bailey Hutchinson could not give a yes/no answer to the question, "Would you revoke Roe v Wade if you could". She dance for several minute, but absolutely refused to give a yes/no answer. I'll bet most of you could answer the question one way or the other.

With Debra Medina, you get straight answer to tough questions. I have never she her dodge or obfuscate when asked a question.

She is pro-life. She believes life begins at birth and end with natural death. Like it or not, you know where she stands.

Debra Medina for Governor of Texas
Early voting starts February 16th and runs till February 26th
Grab your family and friends and go vote !!

Already, Medina has been forced to explain away a comment she made -- "stepping off into secession may in fact be a bloody war" -- in support of states’ rights at a rally last year on the Capitol steps. (Asked about her remark during the second debate, Medina said she opposes Texas’ secession from the union, something Perry hinted at last year in his own nod to the Tea Party folks.) If you watch Medina's talk at the rally on YOUTUBE you will see that she led the crowd, who was cheering for secession, to cheering for the process of nullification instead. It was an incredible thing to watch.

As a tea party leader in a mid-size Texas city, I can tell you that the only tea party support for Medina comes from big-city opportunists in Dallas, Houston, Austin, and San Antonio... Most of Texas exists outside those cities... The Medina/Tea Party connection is loose, at best. Every Texan is ecouraged to vote for their favorite candidate, but let's stop the Medina/Tea Party/Scott Brown nonsense... There's really nothing there.

I'm a Medina supporter and have been a delegate to the Texas State Republican Convention I am a precinct chairman here in San Antonio I also own a small business and have noticed for the last few years the discontent swelling up here in the grassroots and I believe it's Rick Perry who's the long shot in the race down here.

Medina talks on issues relevant to Texas and our state. There's little prospect for new campaign finance reform legislation in the wake of last week's Supreme Court decision expanding the ability of outside groups to pour money into elections. It's been said Money talks. Perry has a bunch of cash. KBH the same. It is evident that the big guns are out to "Out shoot" each other. I feel that we should have term limits on all elected officials state wide. I feel that we should have "initiative and referendum" as well so that the voting public has a say on each an every issue confronting Texans. Wouldn't it be nice if all the pundits were wrong and people voted out all the incumbents. We need to do a house cleaning. "Vote out the Encumbants" Debra Medina Rocks!!!
The poll of 423 likely Republican voters found Medina particularly strong among those angry at Washington. Among the third of voters in the poll who said they disapproved of Washington, Medina topped Perry, 37 percent to 32 percent.
Vote Out The Encumbant Republicans ---Vote Out The Encumbant - Democrats ---Vote Out The Encumbant entrenched political heirarchy. Since we do not have "Initiative and Referendum" nor "Term limitation" in many states and areas I feel "We the people" should vote out all the entrenched career politicians.

Medina Backers - Check this site out!!!!!!

Its about time someone with some common sense ran for public office (Excluding Ron Paul). Texas will be a very poplar place if she is elected (Many will move there).

Medina is a liberal RINO who wants to legalize prostitution, casinos, and drugs. She is also a conspiracy theorist who buys into bizarre New World Order one world government theories. She also sued the state party frivolously and lost when she lost to Tina Benkiser for state party chair.

Neither Hutchison nor Perry has attacked her at all for her really far left views, but now it looks like they are going to have to.

The only reason she is doing well at all-- Perry and Hutchison have spent more than 10 million attacking each other, while Medina skates by. But she is target rich due to her radical left-wing views. Look closer at the PPP poll. It is liberals crossing over to support her that are helping her. Liberal Democrats know that Perry/Hutchison would beat ANY Democrat they put up, but Medina is not electable in a race against "moderate" Bill White.

Debra Medina is the opposite of Scott Brown.

For Kay Bailey Hutchison to be falling in the polls it must also be because the public is seeing Kay and Ray her husband for what they are.

For example:

Kay Bailey Hutchison and her husband Ray Hutchison have taken $Millions from DFW Airport Bond monthly management fees since 1968 to now.

Most recent increase in Bond fee and monthly Management fees being the additional DFW Airport Bond for $2.7 Billion in 2005 by Ray the bond attorney and his law firm Vinson and Elkins (the former law firm for ENRON!).

Kay Bailey will take all the money she and Ray can get their hands on and do it under her role in Government.

Most likely Ray wants Kay to be Governor because she cannot make as much money in the Senate any more now that the Democrats are in charge.

Kay Bailey Hutchison is a front for Ray to make vast sums of money behind the Oz Curtain of Government.

Kay Bailey and Ray Hutchison did more in a sneeze in felony theft of public trust then Don Hill (former Mayor Pro Tem Dallas) even could imagine doing and he was found guilty, as he should have been.

When will Kay Bailey and Ray Hutchison be investigated??

$Millions have made it into the Hutchison household by Kay Bailey as front for her husband Ray's best clients, AA, DFW, City of Dallas, and countless towns in Texas doing bonds through Ray and his law firm Vinson and Elkins (former law firm for ENRON!).

Kay and Ray have no shame, only greed.

As Kay and Ray are exposed more and more the polls supporting them goes down and down.

All hope and strength to Debra Medina. Let's upset the incumbents, shall we?

The more Texans get to know & hear her, the higher she goes in the polls. The contrast between the two establishment RINO politicians (Perry & KBH) and Medina is both stark and refreshing here.

This same Public Policy poll, referred to in the article, in question #5 asked:

Do you have a favorable or unfavorable opinion of Debra Medina?

Favorable... 40%
Unfavorable... 9%
Not Sure... 51%

That tells all that she has a lot of room, with 51% 'Not Sure' yet, to bring them over to her side, once they get a chance to hear her, too. (The 'Not Sure' %'s for Perry and KBH were 14% and 20% respectively.) Medina winning against sitting Senator KBH to get into the run-off will give her both that needed attention, hearing and additional time to convert many undecided Texans.

This will eclipse Brown win in Mass, shaking up the establishment RINO's to their core, as it unleashes & energizes patriots nation-wide to both support her here and do the same in their own locales this fall, too.

Few developing political stories today have the potential for eventually being seen by all as THE historical turning point that confirmed our national return to Constitutional limits, more than a Medina win in Texas.

No surprises there.

Motel 6, "Medina is a liberal RINO who wants to legalize prostitution, casinos, and drugs", sounds more like she is a Libertarian.

I find it funny that the way they attack Medina is "conspriacy theory New World Order Crowd" I heard a Talk show host in San Antonio after Debra was on say before he started to take calls after the interview "Lets try to stay away from the Nwo wacko nutzo stuff" Then he started to play a song that they did in the studio that was a rap song about the democrat running for Gov Farrouk and then went to commercial at let all the support calls for Medina Waiting untill the show ended. Afterwards all he did was pump up Perry and yell at people that did bring up texas corridor questions...I find it funny that the RINOs are using Palin to try and take over the tea party movement , i went to her speech in Houston and it was clear the people were not buyin it.

Motel 6 is way off in the weeds and repeating what's being said there is tantamount to lunacy.

You can't explain how a constitutionalist is "far left".

We need some liberals in office, the classic liberals who framed the constitution.

Independent here voting for Medina because she won the debates, comes off smarter than Beltway and HairDo put together, talks straight and talks about the things that matter. What matters to me? Life, Liberty and Property. All the things that follow from that philosophical grounding, that's what matters, I have a life to live, children to raise, hopes and dreams. All of that gets squashed when I'm a slave to Uncle Sam's Plantation.

Texans, it's time to TAKE OUR STATE BACK.. DONATE NOW and VOTE FOR MEDINA. If you don't donate, she has no chance. She needs a surge of support now, it's the home stretch. If you want to see Medina win, you better reach into your pockets and convince everyone you know to vote early in the Primary!!!

Last chance money bomb for Meinda is Feb. 15th.. spread the word.

I hope Medina wins. What I have found in the last year is that many Americans I know that dismissed Ron Paul during the presidential election have now changed their tunes after realizing that he proved to be so prescient. The nation is in a heap of financial trouble and many people realize that had we listened to Ron Paul 2 decades ago this collapse would not have happened.

Er, I thought "pro-life" people believe life begins at conception, not birth. Not to be picky.

for anyone who does not believe in the New World Order or thinks it's all conspiracy theories, then you need to watch Alex Jone's documentary "EndGame" on Youtube or on
It documents the Bilderberg group meeting and their attendees in Canada in 2007. People will be surprised about who attended and the secrecy involved in the meetings of the elite. After watching this movie, you will not only believe in the New World Order, but will be exremely fearful and concerned about you and your children's future.

Debra Medina is Ron Paul on steroids, no disrespect to our much loved Doctor. Texans, and the country for that matter, face a stark choice: SERFDOM or FREEDOM - Vote MEDINA! Her victory will change the nation for the better. Why? Because she is 100% aligned to the Constitution. The Constitution unites us.

Motel 6, how long did it take you to make up those lies about Medina? I fact checked it on her website. Shame on you.


Motel 6: We were leaving the lights on for you, but you just turned them out yourself....sorry about that.

As soon as a candidate proposes policies that follow the Constitution, he/she is branded a libertarian. However, we insist that our representatives, police officers, military, etc. swear an oath to uphold the Constitution. Are we swearing them in as libertarians? You would think so, based on the logic of some people.

Debra Medina is the best candidate any voter in this country, let alone State, has been offered for very long time. She is out and out a "We the People" candidate.

"How high would the state sales tax have to go if Texas eliminates its property tax, as Medina advocates?"

As she said in the BELO debate, at most 13% - but state legislature would decide on that.

Debra Medina is the best choice in this race... by FAR.

Ah a Texan, I would just like to say, FREEDOM.

Thank you.

I was present at one of her campaign stops recently which was held in Temple. Very impressed with her ability to articulate the constitutional reasoning for her views. She has leadership background as a Nursing Home Administrator, with education background as a Registered Nurse. I am telling as many people as I possibly can about her. Those I have spoken with who viewed the recent GOP gubernatorial debates were impressed with her ability to ANSWER the questions placed to her. She has my vote.

If Medina can garner enough $upport in the coming weeks and get her image and policy opinions out there, she will be a contender to become the governor of this great state. Everything I have heard her say (admittedly not too much) has been in line with true conservative values with a splash of libertarian ones. That, compounded with the throw-the-bumbs-out attitude which is probably stronger in Texas than most states, will turn a lot of heads here. Associating her with the tea party movement is silly just as ridiculing her for filing suit against the republican party on procedural issues is silly. Let's drop all the empty politics and get down to brass tacks and what's best for our state. If anything I'd like to hear more of what she has to say. I talk show host here in the Houston area mentioned she might be in favor of ending the property tax and replacing it with a consumption/sales tax increase. I'd like to know more about that and other core Texas issues.

wow, I didn't know Medina was a Teapartier - she'll get my vote then. Rick Parker's comments say all you need to know about the other two.

Your article puts it well: 'political pros are saying: Hutchison is struggling, Medina is surging and Perry...doing well'. Sure, Perry will win, but not by much. I doubt that will change his tune but hopefully he's listening. Hutchinson is a bit squishy in politics but she votes well in the senate - too bad she isn't more like cornyn and speaks out more, at least about issues where she really does agree with cornyn, and most Texans.

@ Motel 6

Your comments: "Medina is a liberal RINO who wants to legalize prostitution, casinos, and drugs.

I am not sure where you are getting your facts from, or even if you are getting any factual data at all. News flash to you... casinos are already legal in some states. The people have every right to legalize them if they so wish. Medina is for reducing government imposition in our lives (just like the founding fathers intended). She would be the first leader of modern times to advocate true state rights under the Tenth amendment.

We see where the career politicians get us. Let's try something different this time. Vote Debra Medina!

Not ready to make nice
Texas vs Neocon Rick Perry
Happy Valentine's Day Debra Medina

The people do not trust the government nor media

Ventura Sheehan Perot Paul Nader Medina McKinney
Kucinich Kaptur Grayson Gravel
Gonzalez Clemente Choate
Carter Baldwin Anderson

Perry exclaims,Low cost instate college tuition for illegal immigrants,no verfication by TEA or schools required so free discounts and all illegals are swelling schools bumping out of state americans with full blown class charges, price discrimination evident for legal texas out of state students, Lies abound from the incumbant. the politifact check is kicking the pros around with political halftruths.
Medina catching votes from old school on changes in property tax elimination, tx dot reform, Sales tax shortfall hurting current budget expenses tx dot going broke new water sources on hold, border security to be cut massive state layoffs, prison and schools closings,middle class unemployment surges,property tax evals went up 20% taxes higher. electricity higher, health and human budget to be slashed causing working poor to be excluded to hospital mandated emergency room care .Perry is legend in his own mind he can go draw unemployemnt ,but all the money is gone now. so is the sales tax 20+ billion in the red in 10 months
All incumbents must go now !!!!

@Aaron Nichols: I am one of those people who would move to Texas Aaron!

I was just talking to my mom and wife about that. As I've researched our constitution and have have fallen in love with it's grand simplicity, I've realized exactly what it was that my parents risked their lives to be here for.

In 1984 my parents and I (at the age of 8) crossed the Danube river to escape communist Romania. We were generously sponsored here (by government legally, and by volunteerism monetarily) and are now citizens through LEGAL means (i.e. we waited our turn, we educated our selves, and took an oath to this country).

We've been alarmed at how much the idea of this country has changed and how personal liberties have eroded in favor of socialist ideas, the fear of terror, and a sense of entitlement for all. Many people will tell you this is non-sense, that we are doing just fine here in country and we even need more government to help out. From some one who has heard of and experienced communism and the biggest government, believe me that we are NOT to darn FAR my friends.

Regardless of your personal views, people such as future Gov. Medina are trying to protect your God given right to freedom, personal property rights and individualism. I believe that she is attempting to help you see that it is NOT government that gives you rights, rather it is your creator (a God, a Space, a Vastness, a Nothing) that gives you these rights. And further-more, government is given privileges by us.. not the other way around.

The issue of property for example is so quintessential in her campaign and I would wish that you ALL look into it importance of this. I wish that you would also get upset that out of your check you MUST give more than 30% of it away.. and that's just on your personal labor. Mind you if you work harder, study harder, and make more, then you must be even more generous and give at a higher percentage! I want you to get upset that AFTER that thorough screwing, you must rent the land you live on every year, that you pay some 6-10% on every purchase you make (which by the way should be the way gov. makes money), on every mile you drive, on ever cigaret you light up, on your electric bill, your gas bill, you cell phone, your dog, your cat, your internet, your birth, your marriage, your transpiration, even your death and there after when you give your children the fruits of your life's labor.. with the death tax. And that's only the superficial stuff...

We no longer own anything my friends. You, me, we.. are just made to believe that we do. And when we elect officials that promises you more and more, that promises that some how they can give you a job, that they can pay for your health, that they can take care of your kids, and keep you warm and safe at night..... we are only fooling ourselves. The way we are free is by our own will. I honestly hope she wins, and I honestly hope that people take a look at the issues. If you try to find truth you will get angry, and you will start to understand why people like me are taking the time to voice an opinion. You are - and always will be free to voice your own too - and you should fight for that!

Debra Mendian is such a breath of fresh Air. Perry, and Kay past actions speak louder than their lies. Perry is Big Government, Big Taxes, Member of the CFR and Bilderburg Working Group, and so is Kay. Debra represents the people of Texas big or small, Rich or Poor, Informed or Not she is there to protect freedom and Property Rights. If the other carpet baggers can not see this then to bad. The Revolution is Now and it is our time to be free from slavery of the lies of the MSM and the Big Government with it big Ideas that steal our Freedom, Prosperity, and Property. Glen Beck is a shill. He has had questions about 9/11 and acts like it never happen. Glen Beck and his master Rupert have done a great service to our country by informing them of the progressive communists over throw of our government yet he never give credit where credit is due. He acts like he figured this out all by him self when there have been many that have risk their lives to speak the truth of this i.e., Norman Dodd, Charlotte Iserbyt, and G. Edward Griffin and may more. Notice that Glen Beck Never spoke about the bad science of Global Warming until after Climate Gate Broke that is very telling. Notice how he talks about continually War. War = Loss of Freedom. Anyone who talks abut war and not protecting our borders is a member of the liars club.
Vote for Truth Help Mendian take back Texas for the people.

Perry - evil
KBH - evil
Medina - evil

What's the difference.

She is "pro-life", so there is no way she can win. Taking people's freedoms away will never be acceptable.


Recommended on Facebook


In Case You Missed It...

About the Columnist
A veteran foreign and national correspondent, Andrew Malcolm has served on the L.A. Times Editorial Board and was a Pulitzer finalist in 2004. He is the author of 10 nonfiction books and father of four. Read more.
President Obama
Republican Politics
Democratic Politics



Get Alerts on Your Mobile Phone

Sign me up for the following lists: