Wendy Davis sent out an email to supporters today that read:
Dear Friend: One question I’ve gotten often in the past few months is, “What’s next?” On October 3, I will be answering that question. Do you have any friends or family who would like to be among the first to know? Share with your friends on October 3.
Sounds like a social media campaign is the next step.
So the game is on. It will be Abbott versus Davis for governor. This will be the first serious race for governor in a long time, and Davis is the best candidate the Democrats could put forward: a woman with near-universal name ID and the ability to raise money nationally. Abbott will begin the race as a solid favorite because his party can provide many more votes than the Democrats can. The key to the race, as UT/Texas Tribune pollster Jim Henson has pointed out, will be suburban women, a voting group with which Republicans have been losing ground in recent years. As recently as 2010, 50% of suburban women identified themselves as Republican. That number was down to 38% in the UT/Tribune poll.
One of the interesting questions that will arise in this campaign is whether the Republicans’ effort to crack down on abortions in Texas will benefit them or hurt them—or, to put it another way, did the R’s overreach with their abortion bill?
If there exists a combination of luck and strategy that can give Davis a realistic chance of victory, suburban women will likely be a necessary part of the equation.
This is because some of these women appear to be turning away from the Republican Party. Consider the last two election cycles. In the heyday of Tea Party enthusiasm, 50 percent of suburban women identified themselves as Republicans, according to the October 2010 University of Texas/Texas Tribune Poll, but that may have been the high-water mark. Two years later, in October 2012, 43 percent identified as Republicans. And in our most recent poll, June 2013, that number had dropped to 38 percent. Democratic identification over the same period increased 9 points from 37 percent to 46 percent.
AP Photo | Nick Wass