Next Week at the Dallas Convention Center, a Sneak Peek at the Future of the Texas GOP
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The buzz building around this convention has old GOP hands scrambling back more than a decade for analogies. One says this convention reminds him of 1994, when a slew of new delegates, fired up by the rise of the Christian right in GOP politics, showed up. Many of those delegates couldn't find a hotel room and instead slept in their cars.
Other say that with so many of the newbies fired up by the anti-government fervor of the Tea Party movement, the potential is there for a fractious convention along the lines of 1996, which one GOP observer said was notable for the "blood on the convention floor" as establishment Republicans fought for control over the social conservatives.
The Party's biggest star -- Gov. Rick Perry -- might be looking for an entirely different historical analogy, though. In 1998, Gov. George W. Bush guided a unified convention, using the gathering to help set the stage for his jump to national politics and the presidency two years later.