2009 Archives

Will party switching return soon in Texas?


The following is from  the May 10, 2009, edition of The Fort Worth Star-Telegram. Policial Science Professor Cal Jillson of SMU's Dedman College provided expertise for this story.

May 11, 2009


Former Tarrant County Judge Tom Vandergriff did it. So did Gov. Rick Perry. Even former U.S. Sen. Phil Gramm.

These Texans are among the many politicians who have switched parties and survived — maybe even thrived.

Now that U.S. Sen. Arlen Specter of Pennsylvania has joined the club, political observers are wondering as statewide and midterm elections loom next year whether more party switching is yet to come. . .

Some say they don’t think that Texas, a Republican stronghold, is fertile flipping ground right now.

But that could change, said Cal Jillson, a political science professor at Southern Methodist University in Dallas. "It’s just not time to switch parties in statewide races," he said. "If, in 10 to 15 years, Texas is trending toward becoming a Democratic state, you will see people switching.

"When your district is changing out from under you, you have two choices: Look for real work or switch parties."

Read the full story.

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