There’s breaking news coming out of Texas; Wendy Davis is going to break the “status quo,” and Democrats are going to win statewide. I have no clue how this came about, but when I saw where the story originated–Daily Kos– it all made sense:
Texas State Senator Wendy Davis is closing in on Attorney General Greg Abbott in the polls for the Texas governor’s race, moving from an 18-point deficit to a 9-point deficit. It is a month before the election and people are now, at last, starting to listen. Her message is resonating as she is exposing the cronyism and corruption conducted in Austin, Texas, by a government under solid Republican control for decades.
The status quo is the status quo until it is not. Conventional wisdom has pundits dismissing the possibility of a strong Democratic performance at the top of the ticket in Texas because of the fallacy that Texas is a red state, a conservative state.
The reality is that the people in Texas have blue values, but they have bought into the narrative that the state is conservative. What is undeniably true is that conservatives vote, and liberals and moderates in Texas don’t. They haven’t because for too long, too many Democrats have sounded like Republican lite, reinforcing the notion of Texas being a conservative state.
Debates notwithstanding, Davis, has been an unrelenting campaigner, criss-crossing the major population centers on a continuous basis. Harris, Dallas, Bear, and Tarrant counties, as well as the Texas Valley, is her stumping ground. Her volunteers are working in the very red counties as well, registering old-time Democrats (remember, Texas was a reliably Democratic state for a long time).
Time is running out. Voter ID laws are problematic. That said, if the activity and enthusiasm seen throughout the state is met with similar activity at the polls through early voting and in November, the status quo in Texas will be broken. Wendy Davis will win and a host of qualified Democratic statewide candidates down ballot will win as well. Texas will likely turn blue before it turns purple.
Kos says Wendy will win after turning an “18-point deficit to a 9-point deficit” on RCP. It’s never been 18 or 9. pic.twitter.com/kVdG9EkNZQ
— Josh Jordan (@NumbersMuncher) October 6, 2014
I don’t know whether to laugh or cry. Newsflash: a nine-point deficit is still a resounding defeat. Oh, and it’s not really even true. On average, Davis is trailing Republican Greg Abbott by double digits. Not to mention that even if you find one poll that sort of fits your narrative (I’m being kind here) and your candidate is still trailing by nine points; it’s probably a sign that the jig is up.
Back in the real world, the Wall Street Journal wrote yesterday how Davis just isn’t gaining any traction in the Lone Star State, but her campaign is still confident; they have Steven Spielberg, Barbra Streisand, and Matt Damon in their corner:
Democrats had high hopes that the state senator, who became an overnight sensation among liberals last year with a marathon filibuster of an abortion bill, could turn the tide in Texas, where the party hasn’t won a statewide race in two decades. But Ms. Davis has failed to garner traction against Republican Greg Abbott, the state attorney general, damping Democrats’ hopes of loosening the GOP’s dominance in the state.
A poll released Wednesday by the Texas Lyceum, a nonpartisan public-policy group, showed Ms. Davis nine percentage points behind Mr. Abbott. The Rasmussen Reports, meanwhile, released a poll Friday showing Mr. Abbott 11 points ahead.
Zac Petkanas, a spokesman for the Davis camp, said the team is feeling “exceedingly confident going into the home stretch,” noting that Ms. Davis has so far raised more than $30 million. Her contributors include Steven Spielberg, Barbra Streisand and Matt Damon.
Still, according to the latest campaign-finance reports, filed last week, Mr. Abbott had $30 million in cash, more than two times as much as the Davis campaign reported in its latest public filing, in July.
Davis had an unstable political future. First, she won re-election to her state senate seat with only 51% of the vote; that’s with Obama on the ballot. Obama’s coattails only gave her a margin of victory of about 6,000 votes.
So, what’s next? Wendy Davis is going to lose to Greg Abbott. Tea Party favorite Konni Burton could win her former seat. It’s such a possibility that the progressive blog, Burnt Orange Report, has noticed, saying that if Burton wins; “the Republican agenda would be one step closer to making it through Texas completely unchecked. This means Republicans could continue to jeopardize women’s health, disregard equal pay, and endanger Texans by refusing to expand Medicaid.”
By “women’s health,” you mean abortion (a word I accidentally used to describe abortion in a previous post); equal pay’s statistics can be cut to fit whatever narrative you ascribe to; and Medicaid is a “humanitarian catastrophe.” So, I guess I can be ok with Burton winning.
As for Davis, this is pretty much it. Julian Castro, Secretary for Housing and Urban Development and former Mayor of San Antonio, is reportedly ready to be a statewide candidate by 2018. Democratic strategists say that this stint in the Obama administration on bolsters his resume. So, if Davis decides to have a rematch with Abbott in 2018, she will have to probably duke it out with Castro in the primary; a primary where she will probably get trounced as Castro consolidates the Latino vote around him.
She could leave the gubernatorial race alone and challenge Sen. Ted Cruz who will be up for re-election, but is that really a serious discussion.
Ace of Spades also had these interesting maps that showed why Davis couldn’t win; she doesn’t have the votes. Additionally, she had a rather bad primary night, losing counties where Obama had won in 2012.