Greg Abbott Chose This

Will Truman

Will Truman is the Editor-in-Chief of Ordinary Times. He is also on Twitter.

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21 Responses

  1. Doctor Jay says:

    Honestly, I don’t know why the energy management stuff, along with Covid and the truck stoppage circus, didn’t hurt him more.

    My Texas friends (mostly in Houston) insist that Texas is shifting blue, but it’s kinda hard to see that today.Report

    • Will Truman in reply to Doctor Jay says:

      The movement towards purple took a giant step back last year. Statewide judicial races (best barometer of straight partisan vote since people don’t know the candidates) went from 7% in 2018 to about 14% this year. It was 21% in 2014, so not a complete return to form.Report

    • My perception is that Abbott (and the legislature) did a really good job of pinning the blame on ERCOT, the PUC, and (to a lesser extent) the TRC. Also to exploit Texas voter’s love of fossil fuels. It will be many years before the typical Texan stops believing fossil fuels are inherently reliable, they can’t fail, while wind and solar inconsistency is the root cause of all blackouts. The fact that things would have been much worse if the wind turbines hadn’t kept cranking along is immaterial.Report

      • DensityDuck in reply to Michael Cain says:

        “The fact that things would have been much worse if the wind turbines hadn’t kept cranking along is immaterial.”

        (although given that the typical cost-equivalency of wind to fossil-fuel is one to three, it’s reasonable to suggest that if they hadn’t wasted so much money building wind turbines there would have been enough power plants to keep everything going)Report

        • From the mid-1990s, the national policy in the US has been to separate generation, transmission, and distribution of power. Markets and price signals are supposed to provide the necessary coordination [1]. The results were entirely predictable (although apparently not to the people who designed the policy): the only new power plants that would be built were those that could be built quickly, with minimal capital, and start generating revenue as soon as possible. Then that meant natural gas. Today it means wind turbines. Before long it will be PV, at least in some areas [2].

          The critical failures in Texas all seem to have involved water. The just-in-time natural gas system failed because dewatering the gas was not done in a way that kept the wellheads from freezing solid, so gas-fired plants lacked fuel. Some thermal power plants failed because parts of the cooling water system froze up. There’s no reason to believe that gas-fired plants built instead of the wind turbines, or the wells fueling them, would have been any more robust. Having more of the same sort of cold-sensitive power plants and gas wells wouldn’t have helped as much as the wind turbines did.

          [1] Under the right circumstances, this can work. The PJM market-based system very largely does. But after 20 years, they’re still futzing with it because they keep finding another problem. The Texas market-based system is crude compared to the PJM.

          [2] I know of at least one new coal-fired plant that was built after the policy was established. It was done in an area that stuck with the vertically-integrated utility model, as a third unit at an existing coal-fired plant. It was a short-sighted thing to do on all sorts of levels.Report

          • DensityDuck in reply to Michael Cain says:

            “There’s no reason to believe that gas-fired plants built instead of the wind turbines, or the wells fueling them, would have been any more robust. Having more of the same sort of cold-sensitive power plants and gas wells wouldn’t have helped as much as the wind turbines did.”

            so if Texas had built gas-burning plants that were able to operate in cold temperatures they’d have been fine?

            because there’s plenty of places where gas-burning plants operate in cold temperatures!

            and you’re now telling me that this story of how Green Energy Saved The Day had nothing at all to do with green-ness and everything to do with Texas power-plant builders picking only the 99.9999-reliability instead of the 99.99999-reliability design!Report

    • Chris in reply to Doctor Jay says:

      If Texas is shifting blue, it is doing so at a snail’s pace, through increased urbanization.

      However, the Texas Democratic Party is so disorganized and incompetent (as are the county-level orgs), and that national party so stupid when it comes to understanding Texas politics, that it will take even more if a shift than it might otherwise to have any real impact on statewide races.Report

    • DensityDuck in reply to Doctor Jay says:

      “My Texas friends (mostly in Houston) insist that Texas is shifting blue…”

      This is the problem with teamplay thinking. Texas isn’t “shifting blue”, Texas is shifting “not Meme Republican”. People are so used to insisting that “if you’re Democrat you believe XYZ and not-PQR, if you’re Republican you believe PQR and not-XYZ” that they have no way to process the idea that someone might be both antiabortion but anti-regulation, that someone of Hispanic descent might support immigration restriction and border security, that someone might be both against gun-control regulation and in favor of a higher minimum wage.

      Someone on Twitter said: “There are two kinds of Texans: Hank Hill, and the guy who just moved here from New Hampshire and immediately bought the biggest pickup he could find and hung an AR-15 in the back window of it”Report

      • KenB in reply to DensityDuck says:

        This concept applies in so many different ways — e.g. I recall a comment from a Dem pollster a few years ago saying that out of the six (or so?) most commonly-held opinions among Democrats, only about 20% of Democrats held all six of those opinions.

        But we rely on these oversimplifications to have casual conversations about politics. It’s hard to drop a quick comment on a blog post and account for all the many varieties and combinations of political beliefs out there.Report

      • Reminds me of a thing David Shor (who may have been the source of what KenB is talking about — it’s the kind of thing he talks about) that Montana’s shift red (Clinton won the state in 1996) was largely built on transplants. People who moved there after 1992.Report

        • Jaybird in reply to Will Truman says:

          We’ve got two kinds of California transpants here.

          1. California is the best state in the Union and you guys are lucky to have me move here. OMG! Isn’t In&Out the best burger place in the country? You guys are so lucky to have one here. I would have stayed there but it was so expensive. I bought my house for cash! Now I just need to vote for Colorado to become more like California!

          2. Dude, don’t lump me in with California. I left there for a reason. I bought my house for cash!Report

  2. Jaybird says:

    It strikes me that someone who was not Beto might have beaten Abbott.

    You’re going to need someone who doesn’t talk about gun control next time.Report

  3. Pinky says:

    Should we be thinking of this as the Year of the Incumbant? Or maybe a year when people with no relevant experience lost across the board? Like, did any of the fresh faces, new voices, outsiders, and/or fringe lunatics win?Report

  4. Jaybird says:

    The Texas Dems have done a post-mortem.

    I agree with maybe half of it, the other half has me saying “AYFKM?”


  5. Saul Degraw says:

    Speaking of elections, Mastriano was so scary that Shapiro could have won comfortably even without votes from Philadelphia and Pittsburgh:

  6. Saul Degraw says:

    Democrats retain the Senate. I am going to make a bold prediction. The remaining House seats are more likely than not to be Democratic. Democrats will retain the HouseReport