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poll, the campaigns concentrated on delegate selection, which began after polls closed May 3 and still continues. Each campaign claims strength, although the presumption of advantage must be given Carter, whose Texas supporters include heavies like Bob Strauss and John White as well as medium heavies like Land Commissioner Bob Armstrong, U.S. Reps. Mickey Leland and Henry Gonzalez. In contrast, no major Texas politicos The final split of Texas delegates won’t be known until the June 20-21 state convention at San Antonio, but so far it appears that half the 152 delegates will go to Carter, with the other half split in Kennedy’s favor with the uncommitteds. The uncommitteds, many of whom represent single issues, are playing for time; both Kennedy and Carter strategists think they’ll get big shares. It should be stressed that it’s a long time, politically, between now and June 20. The Kennedy people, who believe their man can beat Reagan but Carter can’t, think the passing of each day brings a dramatic Kennedy turnaround closer. Carter’s expected half of the state convention delegates could dwindle to 40 percent, as Carrick predicts, so that a successful conversion of the uncommitteds to Kennedy in San Antonio might deliver Texas you know, conservative old Texas to Kennedy in time for the New York convention. As the climax of the contest nears, both the Kennedy and Carter people realize each needs the other’s constituencies to prevent the worse case outcome of 1980, a right wing White House. But closing ranks is a serious point of strategic dispute, one the Carter team is trying to exploit. “I will enjoy beating Ronald Reagan. I didn’t enjoy beating Kennedy,” said Bob Beckel, director of Carter’s Texas operation. “Kennedy should take a hard look at what the delegate situation is and what the potential damage to the party is by fighting right through to August.” Beckel isn’t the only one seeking an end to the Democratic contest. State party chief Billy Goldberg wants Kennedy to quit, DNC Chairman White is openly partisan and Jody Powell is downright syrup-mouthed. The Kennedy camp isn’t buying it. Instead of the olive branch of party peace, they see the Carter gestures as condescending and indicative of weakness. “I think they’re scared,” Carrick said. “We have absolutely no intention in the world of giving in. My reading is they’re They’re not going to be able to compete dollar for dollar in the June third primaries or conduct an ongoing campaign through the convention.” The net effect of the presidential primary in Texas was to expose, again, the conservative bias of the party hierarchy and the state media, all of whom made poor and smug predictions based on rapidly changing data. Had the presidential poll been kept alive, Texans might have had a greater impact on the direction of the national campaign. Had the preference poll been exploited, it could have become a major inducement to voter registration and precinct involvement. Had a real, not a phony, campaign, been waged here, we might have taken a major step toward eliminating the rarely examined myth that Texas is fundamentally conservative. It is not. But if you hear it often enough you get to believing it. Just as you get to believing that a !preference poll, the subject of bitter political infighting, was really just a waste of time. Believe it not. Believe this: the real meaning of the Texas Democratic presidential primary was that it was afforded no meaning at all. On June 3, the following states will have primaries: California, New Jersey, Ohio, New Mexico, Rhode Island, South Dakota and West Virginia. A good deal of money and resources will be devoted to most of those states, with the presumption that a strong Kennedy showing might still affect the tilt of the national Democratic convention in New York in August. Of those states, only California equals Texas in clout. Davis THE TEXAS OBSERVER 7