“She’s been loyal to this state, and I expect that this state’s going to be loyal to her.” – Wendy Davis
Last week, Wendy Davis joined Travis County Judge Sarah Eckhardt at an event in Austin where both women officially announced their endorsements for Hillary Clinton for President, the Texas Tribune reported. At the event, Davis pointed to Clinton’s commitment to and experience in Texas in her endorsement, saying, “I know that Hillary holds Texas in a very dear place in her heart.”
Davis continued,”What those of us know who’ve been around the Texas scene for a long time is that Hillary and Bill Clinton cut their teeth organizing communities in South Texas and creating the kinds of relationships that show they understand the real needs of people, not only in this state, but across these United States.”
This work Davis referred to is an important bit of history for Texas voters considering the upcoming presidential primary. In the 1970’s, Hillary and Bill Clinton spent time in the Rio Grande Valley working to register Latinx and Black voters, the Tribune reported.
When pressed about the other candidates in the field, such as Bernie Sanders, Davis acknowledged the importance of his work in the Senate, but came back to Clinton’s experience and leadership in her endorsement. “I do believe Hillary has shown herself to be the exemplary candidate in terms of the person who’s best equipped to do this,” Davis told reporters.
Though Republicans were quick to dismiss the importance of this endorsement, pointing to the results from the 2014 gubernatorial race where Davis was defeated by Greg Abbott, their response fails to grasp the importance of Texas Democrats in the race for the nomination. While the 2016 cycle may not see a fundamental shake up in turnout on Election Day, Texas Democrats are poised to have a great impact on who will appear on the Democratic ticket come November.
Thanks to a recent change to the Texas primary process, the winner of the primary in the Lone Star State will snag 250 delegates on Super Tuesday, March 1st. As Democrats gear up for a perhaps unexpectedly heated primary race, the importance of an endorsement like this one, coming from one of the arguably most recognizable names in Texas Democratic politics, can’t be overstated.
The endorsement came on the heels of the first Texas-focused poll of potential primary voters, as reported by the San Antonio Express News. The poll found that Democrats in Texas largely agree with Davis.
According to the poll, which was conducted by Crosswind Media & Public Relations in mid-September, Clinton leads Sanders (and even Biden) by over thirty percent – far above the poll’s 3 point margin of error.
Fifty-three percent of those polled for the survey are supporting Clinton, compared to 21% for Sanders and 14% for Vice President Joe Biden, who is currently considering a presidential bid.
The President and CEO of Crosswind, Thomas Graham, was quoted saying,“Despite some challenges, the Clinton name is still gold among Texas Democrats,” and an endorsement from Davis can only help her momentum.