Originally Posted by GermanStar
Ummmmm -- any Texas residents care to chime in here?
Beat Ann Richards in his run for gov in a state that was democrat at that time. Re-elected with broad support. Picked-up a high proportion of black and hispanic vote (high for a Repo.)
Probably better to go get the original poll data than it is to to hope for an objective comment from say, ...Houston.
Governor of Texas
Following his father's election in 1988, speculation had arisen amongst Republicans that Bush would enter the 1990 gubernatorial election, but this was offset by Bush's purchase of the Rangers baseball team and personal concerns regarding his own record and profile. Following his success as owner and manager of the Rangers, Bush declared his candidacy for the 1994 election, even as his brother Jeb first sought the governorship of Florida. Winning the Republican primary easily, Bush faced incumbent Governor Ann Richards, a popular Democrat who was considered the easy favorite, given Bush's lack of political credentials.
Bush was aided in his quest by a close coterie of political advisors that included Karen Hughes, a former journalist who was his communications advisor; John Allbaugh, who became his campaign manager and Karl Rove, a personal friend and political activist who is believed to have been a strong influence in encouraging Bush to enter the election. Bush's aides crafted a campaign strategy that attacked Governor Richards' record on law enforcement, her political appointments and her support of liberal political causes. Bush developed a positive image and message with themes of "personal responsibility" and "moral leadership". His campaign focused on issues such as education (seeking more accountability for schools over student performance), crime, deregulation of the economy, and tort reform. The Bush campaign was criticized for using controversial methods to disparage Richards. Following an impressive performance in the debates, Bush's popularity grew. He won with 52 percent against Richards' 47 percent.
As governor, Bush successfully sponsored legislation for tort reform, increased education funding, set higher standards for schools, and reformed the criminal justice system. School finance was considered a sensitive issue at the time by politicians and the press. The state financed its school system through property taxes. Seeking to reduce the high rates to benefit homeowners while increasing general education funding, Bush sought to create business taxes but faced vigorous opposition from his own party and the private sector. Failing to obtain political consensus for his proposal, Bush used a budget surplus to push through a $2 billion tax-cut plan, which was the largest in Texas history and cemented Bush's credentials as a pro-business fiscal conservative.
Bush also pioneered faith-based welfare programs by extending government funding and support for religious organizations providing social services such as education, alcohol and drug abuse prevention, and reduction of domestic violence. Governor Bush signed a memorandum on April 17, 2000, proclaiming June 10 to be Jesus Day in Texas, a day where he "urge(d) all Texans to answer the call to serve those in need." Criticized by some for violating the constitutional separation of church and state, Bush's initiative was consistent with his personal faith and was popular with most people across the state, especially religious and social conservatives.
In 1998, Bush went on to win re-election in a landslide victory with nearly 69% of the vote, becoming the first Texas governor to be elected for two consecutive four-year terms (before 1975, the gubernatorial term of office was two years).