Remember when Wendy Davis was going to be the point of the lance in turning Texas purple? Well, that’s over. It’s finished. Her Republican opponent, Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott, is beating her by double-digits. Moreover, most Texans have already made up their minds in this race (via Houston Chronicle):
Republican Attorney General Greg Abbott over Democratic state Sen. Wendy Davis by double digits, according to a poll released this weekend.
The survey, done by polling firm YouGov in collaboration with CBS and The New York Times, shows 34 percent supporting Davis and 3 percent leaning toward voting for her, while the same numbers split 50-4 for Abbott. Perhaps the worst news from the poll for the Davis campaign is that only 2 percent aren’t sure for whom they’re going to vote, leaving a very small slice of a red-state electorate to vie for over the next three months.
So, should we be surprised Davis’s campaign sort of self-detonated? It’s been somewhat bizarre. She supports open-carry legislation, which drew the ire of the liberal blogosphere. Davis even said that she could’ve supported legislation banning abortions 20 weeks into a pregnancy, but noted that the legislature could never draft it properly so she wouldn’t back it; that’s after she declared herself pro-life.
But, it seems the signs of defeat are already present within left-leaning media circles. Slate’s Jessica Grose wrote on the site’s feminist XX blog on June 30 that “Even if She [Davis] Loses in Texas, Wendy Davis Is a Win for America.”
Around the same time, Tom Dart over at the Guardian wrote about Davis’ “art of winning by losing.”
Mindful of the second-most populous state’s value in presidential elections, national Democrats are devoting more resources to Texas than in previous cycles, including the creation of a grassroots initiative called Battleground Texas. That is not only because Davis is an unusually credible and visible candidate, but also a result of shifting demographics that indicate the large and growing Hispanic population will have a greater say in future elections.
Even if Davis fails to beat Abbott, a closing of the gap between the parties compared with four years ago could help lay a firm foundation for future elections by keeping activists motivated and encouraging donors to carry on spending.
Last February, Gallup pretty much poured cold water over liberals’ aspirations of courting Hispanic voters in Texas for future elections. Even the Washington Post noted that Davis “isn’t a top-tier challenger.”
Davis’ gubernatorial run may have energized liberals, but it’s coming down to the wire and the YouGov poll shows she has little room to maneuver in a state where liberal politicians get a cool reception statewide. The Post’s Sean Sullivan aptly noted that the last time Democrats won a statewide office was 1990; they’ve been in the wilderness ever since.
I’ve been kind of on a West Wing kick lately, so let’s just channel our inner-Leo McGarry when it comes to Wendy Davis, who “had a terrific ride, improbable, impressive, and over.”
Then again, I’m sure we all knew that, but it’s satisfying to know that she’ll be gone soon. And to think that she got all of this attention for supporting abortion, it’s the liberal glue that binds.