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Can DeLay Win?

The Houston Chronicle reports that Tom DeLay told a crowd on Friday night that Dems wanting to see DeLay kept on the ballot this November, "may get exactly what they want."

So the obvious question is, if DeLay runs, can he win?

This morning we received an email from a reader who says he worked for one of DeLay's Republican primary opponents, laying out the case why it would be foolish to bet against The Hammer:

Since Tom DeLay resigned, events have changed significantly. The Abramoff scandal is dormant and has been replaced with Democratic scandals. Stockton has failed to make the ballot as an independent in CD22. Bilbray won in San Diego, in spite of the Democrats making scandal the centerpiece of the campaign. Bilbray had a lot of baggage and still the Democrat got about the same vote percentage as Kerry. Conrad Burns seems to be holding his own in Montana and even Ney is surviving in Ohio.

The Democrats have won the first two rounds in the legal battle to keep Tom DeLay on the ballot. However, it should be noted that DeLay could have made a stronger case to assure the Federal Judge that he would be a resident of VA in November.

With Stockton failing to get on the ballot, the potential for a DeLay win has shifted significantly. Stockton would have taken 5-15 % of the vote. The Libertarian candidate will get about 2%, Lampson should get about 45-46% (using the San Diego vote and previous CD22 votes as a guide), and the balance will go to DeLay. Lampson may have good funding and name recognition; however, his ground attack will be no match for DeLay's GOTV. DeLay's GOTV is world class. He understands the potential voters in CD22 better than the FBI. He can reach out and touch DeLay voters, swing and potential Lampson voters with directly targeted individual phone calls, direct mail and even personal visits. He can run both a negative and a positive stealth campaign similar to the one he ran in the primary. He can be whatever he needs to be to each individual household. He can also persuade swing and weak Lampson voters without upsetting his base. He is a master at individual marketing.

DeLay has the support of some Democrats. Some of them are conservatives but some of them like the fact that DeLay fought for the district. If the extreme left types (Daily Kos, MYDD, Burnt Orange Report) try to help Lampson it will help DeLay. The district is conservative and Lampson does have a voting record.

There are many Republicans in CD22 who are mad at Tom DeLay for gaming the system, the party and the voters in the district. However, they are also mad at Ronnie Earl. If DeLay is forced to run, he becomes the stalking horse for several candidates who want to run in a special election, if DeLay is convicted (after he is elected). DeLay becomes the generic Republican candidate in spite of his baggage. A generic Republican is stronger than any one of the individual candidates who could replace DeLay. DeLay has usually had a large under vote. He may do better than usual as a generic Republican.

It may be an ugly win but don't bet against Tom DeLay if he stays on the ballot.