Tags: Texas | governor | Abbott | Davis

Wendy Davis' Hollywood Gravy Train Derails as Abbott Builds Big Lead

By    |   Monday, 06 October 2014 03:53 PM

It looks like three-term Texas Gov. Rick Perry will be leaving the state in Republican hands when he departs office, since GOP candidate Greg Abbott has pulled ahead of Democratic challenger state Sen. Wendy Davis by as much as double digits.

Davis' Hollywood connections, enabling her to raise $30 million in campaign funds from luminaries such as Barbra Streisand, Matt Damon and Seven Spielberg, have counted for little in heavily red Texas, where a recent Rasmussen poll showed Abbott leading Davis by 11 percent.

Davis, 51, who came to prominence with an 11-hour filibuster against a restrictive abortion bill and revealed that she has had two abortions herself in her book, "Forgetting to Be Afraid," pulled herself out of poverty and went on to Harvard Law School.

Davis, however, is flailing against an intransigent GOP in Texas which seems ready and able to extend Republican control beyond the 14 years that Perry has held office, the Wall Street Journal reports.

Abbot, 56, the Texas attorney general, is nine points ahead of Davis in a Texas Lyceum poll, and University of Texas professor Daron Shaw, who conducted the poll, said, "Davis is running slightly ahead of other Democrats on the ballot and over-performs compared to Democrats from recent statewide races. But the number of candidates who have made up this kind of deficit in the last month, in a state where party ID favors the other side so consistently, is close to zero."

The election has been contentious, with Davis linking Abbott to moneyed interests, while Abbott has connected Davis to the highly unpopular President Obama at every turn and promised to work on securing the border against illegal immigration, a sore point in Texas, the Journal notes.

Obama has just a 48 percent approval rate among Texans, the Texas Lyceum poll found, dropping to 44 percent among registered voters.

Abbott is still running hard. Spokesman Matt Hirsch told the Journal, "We are not going to be complacent in this campaign."

Davis, her spokesman Zac Petkanas told the Journal, has come up from being 23 points down in January, according to internal campaign polling, to just seven points behind.

Davis pinned her hopes on a massive get-out-the-vote campaign, with 240 paid organizers and 26,000 volunteers canvassing voters. Davis told National Public Radio, "It's not that Texas is a deeply red state; it's that it's a chronically low-vote-participation state."

"When people believe that their votes are going to matter, they show up. I remain convinced that not only is this a winnable race, but we will win it."

However, Texas Christian University political science professor Jim Riddlesperger told the Wall Street Journal, "Turnout in non-presidential election years is always lower, and Texas voters just don’t seem interested in politics this year."

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It looks like three-term Texas Gov. Rick Perry will be leaving the state in Republican hands when he departs office, since GOP candidate Greg Abbott has pulled ahead of Democratic challenger state Sen. Wendy Davis by as much as double digits.
Texas, governor, Abbott, Davis
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2014-53-06
Monday, 06 October 2014 03:53 PM
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