I've had my differences with Keith but he'd be an overwhelming improvement over Judge Keasler, if only to add some balance to the range of opinions on the court.
Like J.R. Molina in 2006, I predict Hampton will receive more votes than the Democratic candidates for either governor or senator - not because of his own popularity but because the Court of Criminal Appeals is so widely disdained. Whether that will be enough to put Keith over the top depends on big-picture electoral dynamics he likely cannot influence. But at least he'll be in a position - like Craig Watkins in the '06 Dallas DA's race - to capitalize on serendipitous electoral trends if things happen to break just the right way. Dems have a better chance of capturing these seats IMO than they do senator, governor, attorney general, or any of the higher profile races on next year's ballot.