Bush Camp Expects Big Wins in Texas and Florida

July 7, 2008 - 8:25 PM

(CNSNews.com) - The Bush camp is anticipating big time wins on Tuesday when voters in his home state of Texas and his brother Jeb's state of Florida go to the polls in the southern version of Super Tuesday. In addition to Florida and Texas, Republicans in Louisiana, Mississippi, Oklahoma and Tennessee also will cast ballots.

With no meaningful competition, the governor and his entourage are unlikely to be disappointed in the outcome.

At stake in Texas are 124 delegates to the Republican National Convention, a total second only to the 162 California delegates Bush won last week.

Bush has built a political organization in his home state that is second to none and, in the process, made it possible for Republicans to dominate state politics. In 1974, the GOP held fewer than 100 offices statewide in Texas. After Bush's second campaign in 1998, Republicans held more than 1,500 offices.

Since 1993, Texas, more than any other state, has seen more voters switch from the Democrat to the Republican side.

Bush also has made major progress in what was once a Latino voting bloc dominated by the Democrats. In his 1998 reelection bid, the Texan received more than one third of the Hispanic vote and, for the first time, made it possible for a Republican to win El Paso County, which borders Mexico.

Bush is so confident of a win in his home state, he is not running television ads.

Bush also is looking for a large turnout in Florida and has campaigned heavily in that state. With his brother and Florida Governor Jeb Bush at his side, the Texas governor has also injected himself into the "One Florida" plan, which seeks to replace racial preferences in university admissions with a guarantee that the top 20 percent of high school graduates, without regard to race, are guaranteed a place at a state school. The One Florida effort also calls on state government to contract with minorities without using a quota system.

"I supported my own version of that in Texas," Bush said while campaigning in the state. "The field of applicants has increased, which is what I want and I know Jeb wants that."

In a state with a large retirement community, Bush has worked overtime to convince Florida's senior citizens they are being misled by Vice President Al Gore, who has gone around the state telling seniors Bush's tax cut plan will harm Social Security and Medicare.

"This is old style politics," Bush said. "This is exactly the kind of politics that America is sick of...going out and scaring people. I'm going to remind people that this is an administration that's had seven years to modernize Social Security and Medicare and they have done nothing."

While campaigning in Florida, Bush also, indirectly, has addressed his one time appearance at South Carolina's Bob Jones University. Attempting to dispel the perception that he is anti-Catholic, Bush, campaigning in Plant City, made an appearance at a fair booth run by the St. Clement Catholic Church.

Bush also wondered aloud about the vice president's recent statement that he learned from his fund raising mistakes in 1996 and is now a champion of campaign finance reform.

"After all," Bush said, "it was not that long ago that he went to a Buddhist temple to raise money. I think the vice president will say anything to get elected. I think the fellow must think America has been asleep or something. We remember."