Jane “Bitzi” Johnson Miller is an aspiring governor and a conservative Republican from West Texas. Jane “Bitzi” Johnson Miller was born in San Antonio but she was raised in a ranch in Brewster County, West Texas. Her father and grandfather were Ranchers, although her grandfather was active in state politics and he briefly served as the governor of Texas between 1954 and1958. Her mother was a trained nurse but she rarely practiced and spent most of her life as a homemaker.
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Jane is of English and Italian descent, but her descendants are mainly from England. Bitzi is a successful investor having started her own software company in 1993, and then proceeding to sell it to Dell Computer Company for $2.5 million in 2014.
Bitzi graduated from California State University in 1988 with a degree in computer engineering. After graduation, Bitzi moved to Dallas where she started a software-solutions company. She got married in 1991 and proceeded to have two sons. Bitzi is a practicing Christian and an active member of the Dallas Baptist Church. Bitzi is a prolific investor and she has periodically held shares in various blue-chip companies.
After she sold her company to Dell in 2014, Bitzi has mostly concentrated her efforts on investing in real estate ventures and getting involved in community work. One of her sons is involved in the management of her investment portfolio while the other one is in ranching. Bitzi enjoys immense support from her family, including her in-laws, who are in full support of the gubernatorial bid. She is involved in various women empowerment charities across Texas. She also enjoys engaging in speaking engagements to women and young people in Texas and the neighboring states.
Cultural and Regional Support
Texas is the second-largest state in the United States in terms of geography. The state is also populous, meaning that millions of people are scattered within the expansive state. This level of diversity comes with the need for Bitzi to pay close attention to regional support dynamics. Cultural diversity in Texas takes several forms including differences in ethnicity, race, economic engagements, and regional balances.
The dominant political outfit in Texas is the Republican Party with its highly conservative ideologies (Politico, 2016). The dominant regions in Texas in terms of politics include Dallas, Houston, San Antonio, Austin, and El Paso. These are all voter-rich regions that are of interest to Bitzi’s political strategy.
Bitzi is expected to perform better in West Texas, North Texas, and East Texas regions. West Texas is a favorable region for Bitzi because this is where she was born and raised. West Texas is also a highly conservative region and this resonates with Bitzi’s political ideas. The people who reside in West Texas are mostly farmers, particularly ranchers, who are still interested in the traditional essence of government.
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Nevertheless, the candidate can still perform poorly in the West if the trend of low voter registration and an accompanying low voter-turnout persists. In the course of history, “Texas has been among American states with less registered voters and lower voter turnout during elections. Although recent measures have raised the number of registered voters with a high percentage, voter turnout is still low” (Frey, 2014, p. 38). Therefore, West Texas carries a win-lose dimension for Bitzi, and it is up to her to harness these unique situations.
North Texas is a Republican stronghold and it is renowned for being friendly to Republican candidates. However, of all the Republican strongholds in Texas, East Texas is the region that is most likely to accept a female candidate for governor. History indicates that politics have mostly been a men affair in Texas although this situation has changed in the last few years (Newell, Prindle, & Riddlesperger, 2015). Nevertheless, recent trends indicate that North Texas is leading the way in the shift from ‘hardcore Republicanism’, a factor that is expected to favor Bitzi’s candidature.
East Texas also provides a likely win for Bitzi, but it is also likely to be a competitive field in case the Democrats field a strong candidate. Expectations are that Bitzi should not have problems winning support in this region especially due to her historical ties to the Republican Party. Nevertheless, projections are that Bitzi’s performance will be below average in traditional Democratic Party strongholds such as El Paso and San Antonio.
These regions have soaring Hispanic populations and they have also traditionally supported Democratic candidates. Furthermore, many voters in these regions are more likely to participate in the election process for the first time in the next election thereby causing an imbalance in the traditional projections. The South Texas region is also expected to present a challenge for Bitzi especially in the face of growing tensions between Hispanics on one side and Republicans on the other.
The demographic map of Texas is vast just like the geographical area itself. For instance, “more than 80% of the Texas population consists of literate, high-school level and above citizens” (Frey, 2014, p. 45). Most of these citizens are business-owning individuals with their business interests ranging from agriculture, oil, manufacturing, food management, and information technology. The population of voters in Texas is estimated to be twenty-six million, which includes 12% Black, 45% White, 38% Hispanic, and 5% of other demographics (CensusViewer, 2016). More than half of these people are registered voters, and it is this percentage that appeals to Bitzi’s campaign.
Bitzi is mostly likely to get more votes from the White population, which is more concerned with economic balance. The middle-class voters’ bloc mostly consists of White Republicans and it is most likely to be attracted to Bitzi’s background as an entrepreneur. On the other hand, her roots in ranching also give Bitzi a considerable high level of support among the conservative voters, who are mostly ranchers and other farmers.
It remains to be seen whether Bitzi’s campaign strategy can achieve the coveted female vote. However, the fact that Bitzi is a working woman and divorces woman makes it both simple and difficult to sell her to women voters. For instance, conservative women voters are likely to reject her because of her broken family while liberal women voters are likely to find her appealing. Minority voters including Hispanics and Blacks are likely to receive Bitzi with suspicion owing to her historical connection to the Republic Party. Therefore, the only way for Bitzi to appeal to these minority voters is for her to have a campaign agenda that strongly resonates with the needs of these groups.
Lower-income voters are also unlikely to vote for Bitzi due to the parallels that exist between their economic situation and hers. For Bitzi to reach the lower-income voters, she might have to shed her Republican image and also go against some of the popular Republican fiscal policies. Nevertheless, this maneuver could jeopardize the camaraderie that she enjoys with Republican voters unless it is carried out tactically.
It is paramount for Bitzi’s campaign to incorporate specific themes that are most likely to address the issues that afflict Texas’ citizens. Bitzi’s goal of running for the governor’s position is carried within these themes. The three key themes in Jane Johnson’s campaign include taxes, abortion, and immigration. These three issues can divide or unite Texans and that is why Bitzi’s campaign tackles them head-on.
As noted earlier, Bitzi notes that the Texas economy like that of the United States has undergone major shock in recent times. Therefore, it is important for fiscal policies, especially when it comes to taxation, to take into account the need to lessen the tax burden on citizens and stimulate businesses at the same time. Taxes are often a delicate balance for any governor as they often please a certain demographic at the expense of the other ones. Bitzi’s tax agenda will solidify Bitzi’s legitimacy as a committed Republican, as it is concerned with reduced government spending and the need to offset the national debt. At the same time, a tax agenda will have an impact on various economic groups within Texas and it can be engineered to appeal to as many voters as possible.
Abortion is another hot topic in Texas, whereby Bitzi’s position on the issue is to support the recent bill that aims to improve the quality of facilities where Texan women go to procure abortions. Her position differs from the strong anti-abortion stance of conservative Republicans because the issue is becoming outdated among the populous. As a woman, Bitzi also has a higher level of legitimacy when she is fighting for the rights of women. Women, liberal voters, and shifting conservatives are most likely to support Bitzi on this issue.
Immigration is a hot topic in 2018 America as it dominated national election campaigns in 2016. Jane’s stand on this issue is that Texans must be at the forefront of this issue because they are among the most affected individuals, especially in their border with Mexico. This stand lacks the divisive stance that most Republicans have taken recently. Therefore, this stand is inviting to all demographics because it is open to dialogue.
Win or Lose
The factors that are most likely to deliver a win for Bitzi in the Texas gubernatorial race include the fact that she is a Republican and she can appeal to the conservative voters. Bitzi is not likely to lose as a Republican although the fact that she is a woman does not seem to carry a lot of significance in the polls (Root, 2014). The Wendy Davis run for governor on a Democratic ticket indicates that the most appealing factor in Texas is Republicanism. For instance, even though Wendy was extremely popular within the media and fundraising circuits, she was unable to win over a conservative Republican White male (Hennessy-Fiske, 2014).
Wendy’s attempt to reach out to the low-income Texans also did not yield any fruit. Therefore, Bitzi should avoid contradicting conservative Republican ideologies in a bid to appeal to minorities if her tactics are to work. For example, Bitzi’s stance on abortion could spell disaster for her. Finally, it is wise for Bitzi not to bank on being a woman as a factor that can have any influence on poll outcomes. Exit polls indicated that in the Race between Abbott and Wendy, most women voters ended up favoring the man candidate over the woman (Tilove, 2014). None of Bitzi’s campaign strategies is fully based on her gender and this is good for her campaign.
CensusViewer. (2016). The population of Texas: Census 2010 and 2000 interactive map, demographics, statistics, quick facts. Web.
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Frey, W. H. (2014). Diversity explosion: How new racial demographics are remaking America. Washington, DC: Brookings Institution Press.
Hennessy-Fiske, M. (2014). Greg Abbott’s win over Wendy Davis bodes ill for Democrats in Texas. Los Angeles Times.
Newell, C., Prindle, D. F., & Riddlesperger, J. (2015). Texas Politics 2015-2016. New York, NY: Cengage Learning.
Politico. (2016). 2014 Texas governor election results.
Root, J. (2014). Wendy Davis lost badly: Here’s how it happened. The Washington Post. Web.
Tilove, J. (2014). Greg Abbott easily defeats Wendy Davis in race for governor. Statesman. Web.