If Republicans weren’t taking Wendy Davis seriously before, they should start now. A new poll found Davis trailing Republican Greg Abbott 40%-35%.
The University of Texas/Texas Tribune Poll demonstrated how far Davis has come in a short period of time. In a two candidate race Abbott leads Davis 40%-34% with 25% undecided. In a three person contest, Abbott leads Davis 40%-35% with Libertarian Kathie Glass at 5%. Davis matches up with Abbott in terms of favorability rating. Both candidates have a favorability of 37%, and an unfavorable of 24%.
It has been decades since Democrats have been able to start a governor’s race in such good position. Texas is still Texas. There are no real signs yet that the electorate is dramatically shifting towards the Democratic Party. Davis is going to face a difficult contest, and Republicans are going try to knock down her approval rating before the election really gets moving next year.
Wendy Davis has a lot going for her though. She is going to have a level of funding and organization that state wide Democrats have lacked in Texas. Texas is one of those red states that often gets ignored and written off by national Democratic donors and organizations. This won’t happen with Davis at the top of the ticket in 2014. Wendy Davis has focused on a message that is heavy on Texas and Texas values. Much like the rise of other Democratic candidates who happen to be female, Davis and her message are a good fit for her state.
Her abortion filibuster made her famous, but Sen. Davis is more than a one issue candidate. She’s going to be formidable, and she will give Texas Republicans some headaches throughout the 2014 campaign. The wildcard in this election is Texas’ voter ID law. There may be enough voters in the state who are willing to vote for Wendy Davis, but for her to win those voters have to be able to vote.
Everything from the voter ID law to Republican dominance makes this a difficult contest for Wendy Davis to win, but if she can stay close it will be another demonstration that Texas is changing, and give Republicans even more reason to be nervous about the future.