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Carol Reed’s Election Postmortem


Top local political consultant Carol Reed says she saw Tuesday’s Democratic Party “tsunami” coming for awhile. But she offers this bone to disheartened Dallas County Republicans, who enjoyed dominance here for so long: “Nothing’s ever permanent.” Jump for more analysis, Reed-style.

The GOP-leaning Reed, who honcho’d the Parkland Hospital expansion to a big victory, says she pushed hard to get the measure on the Nov. 4 ballot, expecting that the Democratic vote–doubtless sympathetic to Parkland’s situation–would be huge.

And it was, of course, with presidential candidate Barack Obama winning the county and the Dems easily beating back Republican county sheriff contender Lowell Cannaday in the process.

“Any other time,” Reed says, “the sheriff [Lupe Valdez] would have had a much tougher race.

“We’ve been going through the process … for several years now, though,” Reed goes on. “In 2004, Bush didn’t carry Dallas County by that much. We saw it starting to evolve even in 2001. … The only Republicans that are safe [here] now are those in individual districts.”

Cases in point: Congressman Jeb Hensarling and state Rep. Dan Branch. Says Reed: “I mean, do you see Dan Branch ever getting beaten?”

For Republicans, “it’s going to be very difficult if they’re running county-wide or city-wide for awhile,” she continues. “The ones who will do well will be in the carved-out individual districts. Most of the districts have been so carved up, it’s almost impossible to have a challenger.”

So, should we look for a permanent change in Dallas County voting patterns?

“Nothing’s ever permanent,” Reed says. “It swings to one side, and it stays there awhile, and then it swings back.”