Post by David Tenner
The Democratic primary runoff between Yarborough and the more conservative
http://www.ourcampaigns.com/RaceDetail.html?RaceID=296535 Let's say that
Yarborough wins (some say he *did* win and was counted out). Texans were
still heavily Democratic in non-presidential elections, so Yarborough
presumably also wins the general election in November. What are the
consequences of Texas getting its first liberal governor since James V.
Price Daniel remains in the Senate, presumably being re-elected in 1958 and 1964 (over Bush 41). In 1970, maybe Daniel is not enough of a thorn in the side of Nixon as Yarborough was, so Nixon does not recruit Bush to run again, so Bush continues in his safe House seat (changing his career path, since he got appointed as U.N. ambassador in OTL basically as "consolation"). Also, Bentsen sees far less of an ideological difference with Daniel (on civil rights, Vietnam, etc.) so he does not challenge him. But conversely, while Daniel had been an LBJ protégé and ally when they served together in the Senate, his opposition to civil rights may attract a primary challenge in 1964 when LBJ is at the top of the ticket, in addition to eliminating Bush's main campaign issue that year.
Yarborough, easily re-elected as governor in 1958 and 1960 (barring a re-match from Daniel), faces a challenge from Connally in 1962 as Daniel did in OTL. On the one hand, since the future Republican Connally ran even to Daniel's fiscal right in OTL (especially against Daniel's sales tax), he has even more ideological space against Yarborough. On the other hand, Daniel in fact missed making the runoff in OTL by four points, and the second runoff spot was taken by the liberal Don Yarborough (who lost the runoff to Connally by only three points); perhaps with Yarborough in Yarborough's place(!), Yarborough narrowly fends off Connally. In OTL, Connally secretly helped Bush in the 1964 Senate race against Yarborough; in the ATL, what Yarborough's effect would be on the Senate race, which we presumed to be between Daniel and Bush, is not clear. (Many Yarborough supporters argued in 1970 that Bush would be better for the liberal wing of the Texas Democratic Party than Bentsen would, though Yarborough himself endorsed Bentsen.) Probably, Yarborough would like to play more of a national role in the Senate anyway, so maybe he runs for Senate in 1964 or 1966, or even earlier by appointing himself in 1961.