Today's Texas Primary a GOP Showdown
Drama stars Rick Perry, Kay Bailey Hutchison, Ron Paul and the Tea Party
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 2, 2010 7:30 AM CST
Republican candidates for Texas Governor Debra Medina, right, shakes hands with Gov. Rick Perry, left, as Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison sits down before a debate, Jan. 14, 2010.   (AP Photo/Pool,LM Otero)
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(Newser) – All eyes in the political world turn to Texas today, as the Lone Star State holds what should be a telling primary for the GOP. Center stage is the GOP gubernatorial race, a three-way slug-fest between current Gov. Rick Perry, Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison and tea partier—and momentary 9/11 truther—Debra Medina. The race is so heated, and early voting so strong, that turnout may eclipse that for the 2008 presidential primary, Politico reports.

Perry has come from behind to become the overwhelming favorite, partly by drubbing Hutchison on her vote for the TARP—he calls her “Kay Bailout.” But the question is whether he’ll get the 51% necessary to avoid a runoff. Elsewhere, Ron Paul is battling three tea party challengers. If Paul, fresh off his CPAC straw poll win, can’t get to 51% against them, it’ll put GOP candidates nationwide on notice.