HOUSTON – (April 8, 2014) – As President Obama prepares to visit the Lone Star State this week, Rice University political scientist Mark Jones is available to discuss his scheduled appearance at Democratic political fundraiser in Houston April 9.
“While President Obama’s swing through Texas will not help Democrats turn the state blue in 2014, the dollars he helps raise in the Lone Star State will aid Democratic efforts to keep the U.S. Senate blue,” said Jones, who is chair of Rice’s Department of Political Science.
To gain a Senate majority of 51, Republicans need a net-gain of six seats in 2014, which means that control of Senate will likely hinge on the outcome of races in a handful of states such as Alaska, Arkansas, Louisiana and Montana, Jones said.
“Texas donors want their contributions to have an immediate impact on the political balance of power in the country,” he said. “They are looking to races outside the state, where Democrats in 2014 are striving to retain their U.S. Senate majority and reduce the size of the Republican majority in the U.S. House.”
While Texas is a red state, Jones said that Texans have given over $13 million dollars so far this electoral cycle to Democratic federal candidates; this makes Texas the sixth largest source of federal Democratic campaign dollars in the country.
Jones, who is a fellow at Rice’s Baker Institute for Public Policy, is often quoted nationally about American and Texas politics.
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Located on a 300-acre forested campus in Houston, Rice University is consistently ranked among the nation’s top 20 universities by U.S. News & World Report. Rice has highly respected schools of Architecture, Business, Continuing Studies, Engineering, Humanities, Music, Natural Sciences and Social Sciences and is home to the Baker Institute for Public Policy. With 3,920 undergraduates and 2,567 graduate students, Rice’s undergraduate student-to-faculty ratio is 6.3-to-1. Its residential college system builds close-knit communities and lifelong friendships, just one reason why Rice has been ranked No. 1 for best quality of life multiple times by the Princeton Review and No. 2 for “best value” among private universities by Kiplinger’s Personal Finance. To read “What they’re saying about Rice,” go here.