I’m terrible at political predictions – one reason why I generally avoid prognostication regarding election outcomes is that I instinctively assume that centrist voters are more like me. Based on my subjective tastes, I would rate the Republican Party as having done a terrible job of platform building at the state convention a couple weeks ago – echoing the partisan criticism of that platform that came out of the Democratic Party state convention last week. Every element of the Republican Party platform seems calculated to peel off potential voters. Small businesses and immigrants get shut down by an extreme hardline stance on border security; women are shut out with extreme rhetoric on health, equal pay, and abortion issues, and gays and lesbians are summarily written off as people requiring “therapy” for their sexual orientation and need for basic social accommodation.
But I sadly suspect that the hypothetical center of the Texas electorate is far to the right of me, based on October 2013 survey evidence produced by the University of Texas at Austin. On flashpoint issues highlighted by conservatives, the middle looks pretty conservative.