One of Sen. Barack Obama’s surest applause lines comes about halfway into his standard stump speech. It goes like this:
“They whisper to me. They say, ‘Barack, I’m a Republican, but I support you.’ And I say, ‘Thank you. Why are we whispering?’”
If the latest polling data are to be believed, those Republicans aren’t whispering in Texas, where 195 of the 228 delegates the state will send to the Democratic National Convention will be chosen in a primary and caucuses Tuesday.
As many as a tenth of the Texans voting in the Democratic contests could be Republicans, and overwhelmingly they favor Obama, a first-term senator from Illinois, the polls show.
“I ran for Republican precinct chair. I went to the Republican state convention,” said one of them, Donald Rau of Austin, who has already voted in early balloting. “In this election, I voted for Barack Obama.”