Michael Barone: Texas' Davis Lost Hispanic Vote Over Abortion

Image: Michael Barone: Texas' Davis Lost Hispanic Vote Over Abortion

Tuesday, 11 Mar 2014 11:21 AM

By Melanie Batley

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Texas state Sen. Wendy Davis handily won the Democratic primary for governor last week, but her support of late-term abortions cost her the Hispanic vote, Michael Barone says.

The senior political analyst at the Washington Examiner said in his column that even though Davis won by 79 percent to 21 percent over Reynaldo "Ray" Madrigal, a virtual unknown who spent little or no money, she lost 26 of Texas' 254 counties, mostly heavily  Hispanic areas in the Rio Grande Valley.

By comparison, 17 of those counties voted for President Barack Obama in 2012, he noted.

"These numbers point to the conclusion that Davis' stand on the abortion issue, wildly popular among the Democrats' feminist left, is significantly unpopular among many Texas Hispanic voters — most of them probably Catholic, but including a significant number of evangelical and Pentecostal Protestants," Barone wrote.

"National Democratic strategists may hope that Davis can build a Texas majority on a feminist-black-Hispanic base. But that Hispanic base looks shaky. What enthuses one part of a party's constituency can antagonize another part."

Davis achieved national fame last June after a successful 13-hour filibuster against a bill that would have banned abortion after 20 weeks of pregnancy.

Democrats have high hopes she will beat Republican Attorney General Greg Abbott and "turn the state blue" in November, but a poll last month indicated Abbott was in the lead by 11 points.

Davis has recently been criticized for inaccuracies in her biography, including an exaggerated claim that she paid for her Harvard Law School education with loans and grants, failing to mention that her ex-husband, a lawyer, helped foot the bill.

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