Tags: | Ebola Outbreak | Immigration | Wendy Davis | Texas | Ebola | immigration

Wendy Davis' Campaign Cites Ebola, Immigration in Loss

Image: Wendy Davis' Campaign Cites Ebola, Immigration in Loss
Former Democratic Gubernatorial Candidate Wendy Davis. (Stewart F. House/Getty Images)

By    |   Friday, 07 Nov 2014 02:47 PM

In the postmortem following the crushing defeat of Democratic gubernatorial candidate Wendy Davis by Texas GOP Attorney General Greg Abbott, the Davis campaign has come up with an astonishing excuse — Ebola.

Davis, her campaign communications director Zac Petkanas told The Wall Street Journal, ran into two issues in Texas — immigration and the Ebola virus — both of which helped drive Republicans to the polls and bring about a 20-point defeat for Davis.

Texas has had three of the Ebola virus cases reported in the United States: a Liberian man who died and two nurses who treated him and later recovered from the deadly virus.

"The losses that you are seeing in very blue states are simply amplified in states like Texas where there is already a structural advantage for Republicans," Petkanas told the Journal.

State Sen. Davis, 51, who became a liberal media darling after an 11-hour filibuster against abortion restrictions last year, even saw her Texas statehouse District 10 seat, which includes the greater Fort Worth area, fall to tea party pro-life favorite Konni Burton, Breitbart reports.

Political analysts believe Davis' main problem stemmed not from money, not from immigration, and certainly not from Ebola, but from a campaign that mixed messages, confused voters, and seemed to have little direction.

While Texas Democrats had hopes for a high voter turnout that could sweep them into office, Slate commented, "The only way to turn nonvoters into voters is to give them something to actually vote for, even if that means taking bold stances that might run off moderate conservatives."

The Texas Tribune's Jay Root, writing for The Washington Post, said that while the Davis campaign planned to emphasize her success story as a divorced mother of two from a trailer park who put herself through Harvard Law School, "that unexecuted strategy sits atop a trash heap of failed tactics, unmet goals and muddled messages that helped doom Davis to an embarrassing defeat long before the voters rendered their verdict Tuesday night."

Political consultant Glenn Smith told the Post, "You have to speak Texan if you're going to do well here. They didn't. There was this belief after 2012 that if you waved this turnout wand you would wake up some progressive majority. It didn't exist."

The Davis campaign was beset by error after error. Anti-abortion candidate Davis revealed in her autobiography that she had an abortion, and an attack on the autobiography for falsehoods by the Dallas Morning News never was strongly opposed by the Davis campaign.

The Davis press contingent pushed for a strong response, but press aide Bo Delp told the Post, "I was told this was not going to happen. And we did recommend it several more times. It just didn't happen."

Davis initially backed restrictions on firearms sales at gun shows, angering conservatives, but later agreed with Abbott that Texans should be allowed to carry guns openly, the Post reports.

The Davis campaign ran an attack ad featuring an empty wheelchair — an obvious reference to Abbott's handicap, an injury from a falling tree that left him paralyzed from the waist down, and was roundly criticized for it.

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Battleground Texas, a state and federal PAC with the goal of turning Texas blue, and the Davis campaign fielded 34,000 volunteers, the Texas Tribune reports, and raised a war chest of $40 million for Texas Democratic candidates, all to no avail.

In the end, Davis pulled in less than 39 percent of the vote at the polls.

Craig Murphy, a Republican political consultant, commented to the Tribune, "Democrats across the country must be saying, 'What were we thinking?' when they handed so much money to these guys based on a false promise to turn Texas blue."

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In the postmortem following the crushing defeat of Democratic gubernatorial candidate Wendy Davis by Texas GOP Attorney General Greg Abbott, the Davis campaign has come up with an astonishing excuse — Ebola.
Wendy Davis, Texas, Ebola, immigration
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2014-47-07
Friday, 07 Nov 2014 02:47 PM
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