Consider this your last warning. Don't be surprised to see Craig James trying to get back in the broadcast booth this fall because his bid to become a U.S. Senator from Texas is all but finished.
James, a Republican, announced last December that he was stepping down from his ESPN analyst job to run for the seat being vacated by Kay Bailey Hutchison. The primary is May 29 — three weeks from today — and polling indicates that James is losing badly.
James is drawing only 7% of the projected vote. Frontrunner David Dewhurst is at 38%, followed by Ted Cruz at 26% and Tom Leppert at 8%.
In January, James was banking on an endorsement from Texas Gov. Rick Perry. His campaign even produced the following video that tied him to Perry.
One problem. When it came time for an endorsement, Perry got behind Dewhurst.
Buck Harvey of the San Antonio Express-News cut James no favors in a column last month.
"James is not unlike other celebrities who skip steps to run for high office," Harvey wrote. "They lean on name recognition. But that's the catch — James' name gets recognized the way the guilty do in a police lineup."
A Lubbock radio station asked listeners if they would vote for James. More than 96% said no. A Dallas Morning News poll last month asked readers if they would vote for James or former Texas Tech coach Mike Leach. The Washington State coach got 96.5% of the vote.
James loaned his campaign $750,000 last month, but even throwing money at the problem hasn't helped.
So like many others, James will join the ranks of the unemployed early next month. But, as Harvey writes, his "ESPN-honed ability to speak at length without saying much" will likely open doors for a return to an analyst job.