If Wendy Davis Is In, It's Because She Can Win

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If Wendy Davis runs for Governor of Texas she will occupy the political middle-ground that Republicans continue to cede. That is a fact that was evident in the hour-long conversation she had at the Texas Tribune Festival this past weekend, as well as a new poll by Public Policy Polling.

She remained committed to her Oct. 3rd date on the question of her future plans, so her interviewer Evan Smith asked what she considered as she made her final decision. She said she wanted to make sure she wasn't doing something “fool-hardy” and recalled her last two hard fought elections in reliably red territory. “I knew when I entered that race that it was hard but it wasn't impossible,” she said.

“I knew when I asked people to support me and to help me through their time, energy, and financial resources, I knew I was asking them to partner with me to do something that I believe we could make happen. And I have gone through that same analysis in making the decision that I will be announcing on Thursday.”

Bottom line: If Wendy Davis enters the race for Governor, it's because she thinks she can win.

Click below to the jump to find out what progressives can expect and a new poll that could put some wind in Wendy's sails…Wendy Davis became a household name after her filibuster on the controversial subject of abortion, but her campaign for Governor would likely mirror that of her past Senate campaigns where she was able to overcome a double digit deficit to her Republican opponents.  

According to the Lone Star Project,

“The type of coalition Wendy has built in District 10 made up of Democrats, independents and fair-minded Republicans of all ethnicities is precisely the type coalition that can, and must, be built for a Democrat to win statewide in Texas.”

Wendy Davis has been a political centrist, balancing the needs of ordinary Texans with the demands of business interests. This fact won't stop the the opposition from trying to disingenuously paint Wendy Davis as a single-issue candidate. Not only will that likely be the official strategy but the unofficial strategy seems to be making personal and derogatory remarks about her appearance on Twitter and right-wing blogs.

When asked how she is dealing with the negativity by some of her most vocal opponents and she said,

“I've been in a lot of tough fights in my life Evan, and I've learned to weather them. I fought for my seat twice, really hard. I fought a very difficult redistricting battle that everyone said we could not succeed in, and we did. And, I've leathered up a bit over that for sure.”

Davis humbly left out the tough fights she weathered before she was elected, that helped develop her passion for public service. Her story reflects in thousands of women across Texas who can identify with her and the hard road she traveled to get where she is. If Republicans appear complicit in the these personal attacks they stand a big chance of firing up more than 1.2 million women who sat out in 2010 but voted in the 2008 and 2012.

Davis said she is willing to withstand all kinds of attacks and nastiness, “in order to try to deliver what I think is an important message for people that are not being heard.”

Davis said should she chose to run, her message will rise above partisanship and address the concerns of ordinary Texans who aren't currently being represented by their state government.

“What they care about is public education,” she said. “Can their child go to college, is there a path for their child's future? Is there a path for them to have a good job, are they going to have adequate healthcare? These are things that really matter to people. Are we creating the type of climate to keep a healthy workforce and a vibrant economy, that's what people care about and that's what they want their leaders to be in the business of talking about.

So I think that we're going to see, if there is a statewide campaign, we'll see that the expression of that come out in many, many ways.”

A new poll by Public Policy Polling adds weight to her assertions. Almost 60% of Americans agree with Pope Francis that the Catholic Church has become “obsessed” with abortion, and it's no stretch that Texans feel the same way about Republicans in this state. The poll focused on Congress but also found,

“Republicans have also become less supportive of their own party, going from an 82/10 intention to vote GOP to 78/13. That shift has come largely among moderate Republicans who supported their own party 72/17 in July but now do so by only a 59/22 spread.”

Texans want someone who will address the real and growing problems of our state, and Democrats hope that person is Wendy Davis.

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About Author

Joe Deshotel

Joe was born and raised in Beaumont, Tx, but live music and politics brought him to Austin. He has worked in and around government and elections for over a decade including for a member of US Congress, the Texas Legislature, the Mayor of Austin. He currently serves as Communications Director for the Travis County Democratic Party. He is most interested in transportation, energy and technology issues. He also likes Texas Hold'em and commuting on his electric skateboard. Follow me on Twitter at @joethepleb.

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