Far too many media outlets can’t get past the first image of Wendy’s new ad, nor do they understand the audience she’s speaking to with Election Day a bit more than three weeks away.
Last week the Davis campaign released “Justice,” an ad that rightfully points out Greg Abbott’s hypocrisy in using the judicial system to gain a multi-million-dollar settlement for himself, and then as a member of that system routinely denied that same justice from others.
Watch it here:
The ad ties together two of the hits the Davis team has been landing for months — that Abbott routinely sided against rape victims on the state’s highest court, and enabled a hospital to defend a sociopathic surgeon rather than support the victims he maimed — and added a new wrinkle: Abbott argued against a woman who lost a leg, claiming she wasn’t disabled.
Of course, think about all of the other potential hits the ad left out:
- Abbott is defending $5.4 billion in unconstitutional cuts to public school funding that Wendy Davis filibustered in 2011
- Abbott allowed his donors to raid the state’s Cancer Prevention and Research Institute of Texas for millions of dollars
- Abbott is appealing the decision to block a photo voter ID plan a judge called an “unconstitutional poll tax”
- Abbott pays his female staffers less than their equally qualified male counterparts
- Abbott thinks rape and incest victims should be denied the right to an abortion
The list goes on and on, and while it’s easy to argue about what a campaign should and should not do, Davis spokesperson Zac Petkanas said the campaign had tested the ad with focus groups, and therefore we can infer that it clearly proved a powerful way to move the voters they need to persuade.
The three instances in the ad offer perhaps the best character assault on Greg Abbott. Those other issues I listed above speak as much to policy disagreements as well as character; the incidents in the ad make clear that Greg Abbott is not the kind of person Texans want leading their state.
A panel discussion on today’s Up With Steve Kornacki argued that the ad would only appeal to the base. While I do think it will fire up supporters, more importantly the ad does link together a months-long messaging narrative that has tremendous potential to move moderate, suburban women.
The Davis campaign has put extensive resources into informing and persuading voters. This ad ties together all of those attacks and really forces voters to decide what’s more important in choosing our next governor: their party affiliation, or their character?
Furthermore, as Harvey Kromberg pointed out in Quorum Report, the coverage of the ad — which amplifies whatever media buy her campaign makes — is actually starting to finally focus on Greg Abbott’s actual record.
Look, people may not like the ad for pointing out uncomfortable truths, but that doesn’t make Greg Abbott’s record any less scary. So if this ad bothers you, think about what four or eight years of Abbott as governor might look like. And then get out there and vote for Wendy Davis.