After a lackluster debate performance, Greg Abbott is launching negative TV ads against Wendy Davis, but experts in Texas suggest that Republican’s negative shift might be a sign that the governor’s race is tightening.
On TWC’s Capitol Tonight, Harvey Kronberg, editor of the Quorum Report, suggested that Greg Abbott is going negative because of the success of the Democratic campaign to register more Democrats. Kronberg raised questions about what Abbott’s internal polling is showing.
Kronberg said, “When you register people to vote for a specific election they actually do have a pretty high proclivity to vote – and you start seeing that the mechanics of what the Democrats are doing may come together and that may explain why all of a sudden Greg Abbott ran his first negative commercial. It raises questions as to what their own internal polling is showing.”
Ross Ramsey of the Texas Tribune also raised questions about what Abbott’s internal polls are showing:
Ramsey said, “You wonder what his internal polls are showing. Usually you don’t attack an opponent who is behind you. There is no reason to take any notice of them or to raise their name ID.”
The Abbott campaign consistently claims that they have an insurmountable lead, but they won’t release the polling to the public. Wendy Davis gained momentum after her debate performance on Friday. The Republican candidate had to bus supporters in to create a fake show of support for his candidacy before the debate.
The decision by the Abbott camp to run negative ads suggests that the election for governor is getting tighter. Candidates who are way ahead never would take the chance of alienating voters with negative advertising. Negative ads are used when an opponent has a higher favorability rating than the candidate. Abbott’s polling probably shows a post-debate bounce for Davis and a tightening of the race.
Something is up in the election for governor. The Republicans are acting worried as a Wendy wave could be building in Texas.
Mr. Easley is the founder/managing editor and Senior White House and Congressional correspondent for PoliticusUSA. Jason has a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science. His graduate work focused on public policy, with a specialization in social reform movements.
Awards and Professional Memberships
Member of the Society of Professional Journalists and The American Political Science Association