Not Surprisingly, Democrats Don’t Consider Wendy Davis’s Race A Priority

Wendy Davis Greg Abbott

The Democratic Governor’s Association doesn’t seem to be willing to put much money into Wendy Davis’s race against Greg Abbott in Texas:

Despite the hype surrounding Texas Democrat Wendy Davis’s run for governor, the chairman of the Democratic Governors Association didn’t include her state in a list of top targets in 2014.

Ms. Davis, a state senator, gained national acclaim for filibustering a bill last year that increased regulation of abortion clinics and banned abortions after 20 weeks of pregnancy. Polls show Republican nominee Greg Abbott with a double-digit lead in the state, which hasn’t elected a Democrat since 1994.

“We’re hopeful in Texas but we all understand that Democrats haven’t won Texas in a long time,” DGA Chairman and Vermont Gov. Peter Shumlin told reporters Tuesday at the Third Way think tank. He added, “We hope this will be our year.”

Mr. Shumlin singled out Paul LePage in Maine, Rick Scott in Florida and Tom Corbett in Pennsylvania as the most vulnerable Republican incumbents. In the second tier are a trio of Midwestern governors who also represent states won by President Barack Obama – Scott Walker in Wisconsin, John Kasich in Ohio and Rick Snyder in Michigan.

Mr. Shumlin called Mr. Walker’s leading challenger, Mary Burke, an “extraordinary candidate,” and said, “We believe we’ve got a great shot there.”

While Democrats are playing defense to protect their majority in the U.S. Senate, the party is on the offensive when it comes to governors races.

All of this makes sense, of course. Texas is an expensive place to campaign, and the odds against Wendy Davis are quite high. In the meantime, there are races in Florida, Michigan, Pennslyania, and Maine where incumbent Republicans are trailing their Democratic challengers in the polls and are at least competitive in Ohio and Wisconsin. Spending money on a Texas race that will likely go Republican anyway would be a waste of time.

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Doug Mataconis
About Doug Mataconis
Doug Mataconis held a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May 2010 and contributed a staggering 16,483 posts before his retirement in January 2020. He passed far too young in July 2021.


  1. When I read the headline, I was extremely puzzled because I couldn’t figure out what Wendy Davis being white had to do with Democrats supporting her run for governor.

  2. Mu says:

    Democrats know in 1 to 2 election cycles the demographics will start to tip Texas permanently blue. Why waste money on one last lost race?

  3. Pinky says:

    @Mu: Boy, I hate that kind of thinking. Demographics don’t vote; people do. If you think you’ve got a better potential governor, you should get out there and work for him/her. And the voters of the next cycle are largely voting this cycle, and if you want to persuade them, you might as well start now. Likewise, don’t sit on a “safe” candidate. If your guy is going to win 52% of the vote without your campaigning for him, get out there and campaign for him. The country needs more landslide elections for unity’s sake.

  4. Dave Schuler says:

    I’m with Stormy Dragon on this. Especially in the light of the NBA/Sterling stuff and the brouhaha over Elizabeth Warren I think that the few extra letters in “candidacy” would have been worth it.

  5. Pinky says:

    I guess it’s true then that people on this site see racial things where they don’t exist.

  6. WuzYoungOnceToo says:

    @Dave Schuler: Maybe the author assumed that most people aren’t completely morons (not a safe assumption, apparently), and that anyone with an above-room-temperature I.Q. would understand what “race” would most likely refer to in the context of a political campaign.

  7. @WuzYoungOnceToo:

    Except “race” usually refers to the collective campaigns of all the candidates running (the presidential race). That makes it rather odd for it to be referred to as belonging to a particular candidate.

  8. bill says:

    her 15 minutes are up, everyone thought she was soooo cute in her pink nikes trying to stop a late term abortion law (that was unstoppable anyway) they forgot to look in her closet and see who she really was/is.

  9. Mu says:

    @Pinky: I don’t see the two position contradicting each other, unless you’re advocating getting engaged in a hopeless race for the sake of having come in second. The article was discussing putting money (or in this case not putting money) in races where the money makes a difference. And I can’t think of anything that is going to make this race competitive.