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Losing the Battleground

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Battleground Texas, the organization chosen by the Obama White House to “turn Texas blue,” proved to have been nothing more than a mirage. In fact, Battleground did more to sabotage the Democratic effort — unintentionally — than to support it, thanks to Jeremy Bird, Battleground’s leader. Bird produced a memo claiming major gains by Democrats, which he published. Unfortunately for Bird, his numbers were erroneous, allowing Republicans to enjoy a big laugh at Battleground’s expense.I’m not surprised, because the major activity of Battleground was to issue press releases taking credit for X direct contacts with voters and Y phone calls. In the end, Battleground has little to show for its efforts. Democratic sources now acknowledge that Battleground provided nothing useful to the Davis campaign. The result is that the state Democratic party suffered another blow to its credibility.

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  • Slick

    It was unfortunate that Davis and her team (Matt Angle) refused to invest in the Texas Democratic Party structure, instead aligning with Battleground Texas. It has been a source of tension throughout the campaign. The Party itself has turned a corner, with new leadership and increased engagement. Davis could have promoted this, but her consultants pushed her toward duplicative efforts that undermined the part structure (paltry as it is).

    • nickthap

      There have been unreal amounts of terrible advice given by campaign consultants this cycle, from US Senate races all the way down to Austin’s city council races.

    • Tracy Stephenson

      Um, its not unfortunate at all. The state democratic party has been nothing more than a skeletal dead structure without even the most basic knowledge of field organizing for close to decades.

  • CCIslander

    Well said. I’m in South Texas. They have imported labor…canvassers and phone bankers etc…This is not a joke but a white guy and girl seriously tried to con us into believing they were raised in South Texas to fit in…and not that this matters on substance but neither of them knew the importance of wearing deodorant, seriously you would have thought they slept in an onion truck. They talked about the environment and how bad oil and gas are for our planet (all the jobs around here are in oil and gas) and about abortion being a precious right that we must protect (we are catholic and insulted that they believe that is our issue). We offered them some bbq (fajitas) and they were vegetarians. wow! That is practically a cardinal sin down here. They clearly were not from Texas, did not understand our values much less South Texas culture. It is obvious. Mr. Bird needs to go home and take his out of staters with him. I think they may actually have flipped some D’s to vote Republican.

    • James Peinado

      funniest account I’ve prolly read all season. LULZ they’ve been just as clueless here in El Paso.

      • Actually its the democrat voter or low information voter who is clueless. Why keep voting democrat?

        • DFWRCC

          John Bernard Brooks. Low Information Voter. Get real. The Republicans ran on superficial talking points and did not let information (especially truth) deter them from winning. They polled and got potential voter perception and crafted a message to fit the perception. That is why most of those who won ran on public statements which are easily refuted when you examine their voting records. This year’s fiasco is not because Democratic voters are more stupid than Republican voters. There are a lot of things we have to own that keep us in the losing column but claiming that Republicans are more substantive or that Democrats are “lower information voters” than the Fox News Rush Limbaugh crowd is not something that can legitimately be hung around our necks!

    • don76550

      You should have asked them to go hunting or target shooting with you so you could watch them break out in hives.

      • Tracy Stephenson

        Or maybe instead of breaking out in hives, they’d shoot you a bemused look for obviously and overtly basing the foundation of your sense of self on cheap and meaningless tokens of masculinity.

    • Tracy Stephenson

      Or maybe you don’t know very many Texans outside of your extremely limited social circle.

  • CCIslander

    the other big thing we noticed was how far left these people were. it made us realize we have more in common with our republican friends among us than those battleground people. the should change their name to LOSINGGROUND TEXAS

    • davemundy

      We Republicans will welcome you, CC — not because you’re a political purist, but because you’re a Texan.

    • Jed

      the obama people. left.

      maybe what you should have noticed was how far right you people are.

      • PostLiberal

        maybe what you should have noticed was how far right you people are.

        Where “far right” is defined as not being in lockstep with the “progressive” checklist de jour. Gotta keep up on things, because the checklist can change on a weekly basis.

        As for “you people,” consider Wiktionary’s discussion of “you people.”

        In the United States, this expression, however intended by the speaker, has been interpreted as indicative of racism when used in discourse with those of a race different from the speaker’s, or of discrimination on an ethnic or religious basis in analogous situations.

        Such sneering, condescending statements are one of the reasons I left the Left, and consider myself a PostLiberal.

        • PostLiberal
        • Jeanne Compeau Keel

          “du jour”

        • Jed

          “you people” was a response to “these people” in the previous post.

          whatever on the rest of your anti-sneering sneer.

          • PostLiberal

            It you look at the comment, “these people” described a rather small set- those Battleground Texas staffers they had come in contact with. Whereas, “you people” describes not only CCIslander but also those readers who agree with him, such as myself. I for one, took “you people” to describe me.

          • Tracy Stephenson

            You’re argumentative and boring. Get a hobby.

      • PostLiberal

        maybe what you should have noticed was how far right you people are.

        You are talking about those who supported Greg Abbott for
        governor. Here are some polling results:

        According to polls, Abbott made his mark, winning 44 percent of the Hispanic vote.

        Let me remind you of the Wiktionary definition of “you people:

        In the United States, this expression,
        however intended by the speaker, has been interpreted as indicative of racism when used in discourse with those of a race different from the speaker’s,or of discrimination on an ethnic or religious basis in analogous situations.

        Democrats are SO tolerant, SO loving of “diversity” – as long as you agree with them. Así que me fui de los Demócratos.

    • Skeptical


    • Jerry

      Be a proud Democrat, if your a Blue Dog. If your a Left Wing Liberal Socialist intent on destroying our very society, then leave. Blue Dog Democrats are always welcome in the South.

  • Montgomery Ward

    Future Prediction for six moths from now: “Hi, my name’s Matt Angle, welcome to Sears. Are you shopping for a new mattress and box springs today?”

  • Democrats love telling us how they are winning. This election will be a rejection of them and their policies. President Obama and his policies will ensure the state stays red for another 20 years.

    • Tracy Stephenson

      Sorry, quick correction: *President Obama and his skin color

      Taken individually, a majority of Texans, like a majority of Americans, actually support President Obama’s legislative and policy goals (such as the individual aspects of the Affordable Care Act… But call it Obamacare and suddenly they don’t support it).

    • DFWRCC

      Obama is not responsible for the way Texans vote. That is a GOP consultant talking point. If having a stupid (and he is not) executive meant your party lost then Republicans would not have won any statewide races because neither GWB nor Perry are flawless. The reality is that Texas turned Red initially because Republicans won using private (not state party) technology which allowed better targeting. They upped their game this time and Abbott had $38 Mill in his war chest plus years running statewide races and the statewide network. The microtargeting techniques available now are much more affordable and available than in 2010 or 2012. This was a mid term election with two State Senators at the top, neither of which had run anything other than regional races. They fought valiantly but you do not build a statewide organization overnight. It is easier when you have already met the folks (donors and activists and voters) in each region before you arrive on the scene. During a candidates first statewide race neither their team nor the candidate have those relationships in place. Usually candidates quit after one failed attempt and the next one goes in cold and has to replicate what the last one had in place by the end of the last failed campaign. There are lots of reasons why statewide incumbents have an easier shot at winning other statewide races and while those who are not incumbent statewide office holders rarely take those seats in states as large as Texas.

  • Jed

    battleground texas and the state democratic party stayed at arms length throughout.

    you may be right that battleground hasn’t had much impact, but to suggest that this damaged the credibility of the state party (any more than they have long since done to themselves) makes no sense.

    • Slick

      That’s correct. BT was Matt Angle’s operation, blessed by Wendy Davis.

      • joethepleb

        Jeremy, BGTX was Jeremy Bird’s project, he is with 270 Strategies not Matt Angle.

      • Slick

        I phrased this poorly — Matt Angle and Wendy Davis aligned themselves with BT and not the TDP outreach effort. You are correct that BG was Bird’s project, but it was able to thrive due to the blessing of Angle and Davis.

    • dave in texas

      +1 for ‘…any more than they have long since done to themselves.’

    • DFWRCC

      Battleground in Texas attracted lots of first time activists. That is a good thing. The problem probably was the lack of effective seasoned leaders on the ground to work with them. Few people in Texas on the progressive side have worked in WINNING Campaigns. That means that we are at a disadvantage from the start. We encounter the danger of replicating losing strategies and we run the risk of those who were not trained in the procedures that truly work in Texas being in charge of others who are green. The technology that won for President Obama has advanced considerably in the past 2-4 years. The Van is not sufficient to microtarget in today’s universe, especially when the opposition has millions more to devote to the process than Democratic challengers have. One of the biggest differences appears to be the manner in which Abbott ran his campaign. Each paid staffer was given a quota and goal of 250 verified Abbott voters per week and wide latitude to meet that goal. They have lots of money invested in methods to verify and track the party/candidate preference of the contacts and to link them back to the staffer who was working that lead. If the paid staffer missed the goal two weeks in a row they were fired. The level of accountability was probably the highest we have observed in any previous campaign in Texas. Honestly, most campaigns hesitate to dismiss anyone — paid or volunteer because those discharged usually become PR bombs. Didn’t hear any grumbling from the ranks getting into the media which is amazing considering that they are reported to have fired 3 staffers for everyone that made it through to the end.

  • MikeO

    Bad candidate, lots of gaffes, incompetent campaigning, massively wasteful approaches. And this is different from recent Texas Democrat efforts….how?

  • joethepleb

    Important point of clarification, the Obama White House had nothing to do with BGTX. It is a project of Jeremy Bird his campaign Field Director.

    • PostLiberal

      IOW, the Obama White House had nothing to do with BGTX, but he worked for the Obama Campaign. Nada

      • joethepleb

        That would be like saying everything Karl Rove did after 2004 is part of the Bush White House.

        The difference is the White House is taxpayer funded and a political campaign is not. Bird worked for the campaign, and when it was over he did not work the WH, he started a political firm called 270 strategies, and BGTX is under that umbrella, not the White House or the Obama campaign. Completely different.

        • joethepleb

          If you don’t like Obama (or if you do) that’s fine, but I was just clarifying for those interested in how it all works and came together, since the article has it wrong.

        • PostLiberal

          And when the Obama White House puts out a notice that it is in complete disagreement with what Battleground Texas is doing, I will see your point.

          • joethepleb

            I bet Bill Clinton doesn’t either, does that mean BGTX is an extension of the Clinton White House? Ironically, it will be in 2016 lol.

  • donuthin2

    I will vote tomorrow, but it is sobering when you realize none of the choices, or at least few of the choices, will be good for Texas. I will not be voting for much of anyone, but voting against a bunch of politicians, non of which are statesmen, or who have a vision of what is needed.

    • Windy is a statesman?

    • DFWRCC

      This year (speaking from a Tarrant County perspective) we had an incredible slate of candidates and they would have all been better for Texas than what our neighbors voted into office. Except for the Davis campaign, there was very little money going to any of the other campaigns. On the Congressional level, all the Democratic challengers combined did not have enough to truly fight one well funded incumbent. The caliber of candidate is not the issue. The caliber of candidate combined with surgically drawn districts to favor the GOP candidate, unlimited dark money coming from multiple sources to support GOP candidates, and lack of funding for Democrats to “quick start” their campaigns figure heavily in why Democrats continue to lose. Leticia was a very strong candidate but did not have a big enough war chest to combat the lies played in Patrick TV ads every 5 minutes on all major markets. His ads were out and out fabrications and misrepresentation. I knew the realities and any time I explained to someone that she is not in favor of raising property taxes but instead says that property taxes are how local governments and school districts are financed and Leticia says that the property tax rate should be decided by local citizens and their local governments and school districts rather than by state law makers they got it. Also when the PoliFacts link showing his claim was mostly false when he said she “voted to keep felons in the classroom” those with reservations moved to her column. To move enough she needed much more money to run much more media and to produce commercials which were defensive. In campaigns you frequently have to make a value judgement and decide how much you are going to let your opponent’s attack ads drive your expenditures. In retrospect it is easier to see what took you down than it is to recognize the pitfalls when they are coming at you at the speed of light.
      Somehow at the end of the day I don’t think Democrats can be faulted for thinking that most Texans would be sane enough to go for Leticia over the likes of Patrick. It is hard to wrap our minds around the reality that our neighbors will vote for a convicted felon for Attorney General over Sam Houston, Patrick over Leticia Van de Putte, and a rice farmer who does not understand a spread sheet over a CPA for Comptroller. We want to believe that those we live, work, and serve along side of are sane and rational but year after year we are proven wrong. Now we have a governor who is under indictment (and should be) and a Gov Elect who will probably be indicted this week. We have an AG elect who pleaded guilty to S&E fraud. Oh well. Somehow I don’t think this is our President’s or even Battleground Texas’s fault. It comes from the mindset of those who voted them into office, not from the flaws of those who fought as hard as they knew how to keep it from happening. Now we should cool the anger at ourselves and realistically identify what it takes to win and how we get the money to finance it for 2016.


    Where the Texas Democratic Party went wrong in 2014.

    Tuesday will probably show, at best, limited gains for the Texas Democratic Party with a slightly higher percentage (at best) of the vote for their losing statewide candidates. But it
    maybe did not have to be that way. There perhaps was a way in which the Democratic Party could have done substantially better this year than the likely outcome.

    The problem: It aimed too high. It went all out for the top offices when it had a much better chance had it aimed lower on the ballot.

    The top of its ticket appeared attractive….but its candidate started out the year running against the likely and ultimate Republican gubernatorial candidate who began the campaign with as much as $20 million already in the bank and the possibility of raising that much or more again—amounts its candidate could never match unless she had the
    personal wealth of a Tony Sanchez, whose wealth did him no good either.

    Had the Party faced reality, it would have seen that the gubernatorial race was not one on which it should have placed too much hope. Instead, it should have aimed at lower level targets where a win was at least theoretically possible.

    One possible target would have been the race for Lt. Governor where it matched an attractive Democratic candidate with an outstanding record against an Republican who could easily—and rightfully—be pictured as an extremist whose election offered nothing but the possibility of chaos. The race still might not have been winnable, but had it put only a large fraction of the money it spent on a almost certain to be lost governor’s right into the light governor’s contest, victory was possible.

    But there were even more attractive races just a step below on the ballot—the contests for attorney general and that for state comptroller. In both of those races the Democratic candidates were attractive and the races had special circumstances that made a win even more possible.

    The feature that made the attorney general’s race more attractive was the fact that the Republican contender not only had somewhat extremist views—which could have been
    exploited—but also was an admitted violator of state laws including some of
    those he would enforce if elected.

    The state comptroller’s race was even more attractive primarily because of the high caliber and admitted competence of the Democratic candidate, Mike Collier, and the total lack of
    qualifications for this highly technical office of the Republican contender. Collier, by all accounts,ran the best campaign of any of the Democrats, in the process impressing
    virtually every observer and winning the endorsement of every major newspaper
    and news organization in the State….something that made his race winnable if
    only he had had a couple of million dollars to get his message to the voters.

    Some will argue that President Obama was so unpopular that no Democratic candidate had a chance. While Obama’s popularity level did not help, I still believe that a well-funded, targeted race (ala Rick Perry as a Republican in 1990) might have had a real chance.[i]

    The lessons: Next time aim at winnable races and don’t let Mike Collier get away. Instead get behind him the next time and let him lead the Democrats to their first statewide win since 1994.

    It has to be admitted that Rick Perry’s success as the only GOP statewide winner in 1990 was helped by the totally incompetent campaign—almost a non-campaign–run by the incumbent Democratic Agriculture Commissioner, Jim Hightower. However, the GOP was smart enough to spend enough resources on the race to take advantage of that weakness and give Perry the name ID required. The same might have been possible in a state comptroller race this year.

    • Blue Dogs

      Translation: the Julian Castro campaign for the TX Governor’s Mansion in 2018 begins Wednesday morning.

      • WUSRPH

        That is more of a mistranslation….What it really means is that the committee to fund lower ballot level candidates should meet at 10 am Wednesday morning.

        P.S. It may be “The Other” Castro twin.

        • Jon

          …and besides, the Castro ’18 campaign started when Obama named him HUD secretary….

          • RoyMix

            and HUD secretary is the path to power in Texas…

            Castro, either one is never going to be governor of Texas.

            Maybe they can make him President of UT-Rio Grande Valley, that will be a step up from Cisneros. But down in the Valley Edinburg will wage war against the carpet bagger.

          • Joe deLarios

            They are from San Antonio, how in the world is that being a carpet bagger?

          • RoyMix

            It is a joke about Pan American and their feeling slighted. The premise was in the Valley, SA might as well be Lubbock…

            I have a friend who went there and lately it is like the worst thing the state ever did was to create UT-RGV, he doesn’t really believe it but it is his last chance.

    • Translation democrats must aim lower….I’m not sure podnah the dems can get much lower.

    • adam smith

      Good suggestion but wouldn’t have worked in this environment. Even if Wendy had run for Lt Gov, who would have run for Governor? A periennial candidate like the Alvarado’s? The media would have had a field day. The GOP has such a large straight ticket advantage statewide it doesn’t matter if you focus on Lite Gov/AG/COMP.

      Two things could help the Dems. One is that battleground sticks around and actually helps the TDP build a new party from the ground up and supplies major resources to do it in the big 6 urban, suburban, and other metro counties, or Dems have to pray that Hillary loses which would actually help Dems similarly to 2006/2008 when Republicans actually lost marginal legislative seats in the tx house and got beat nationwide. Either way outside of black or hispanic areas I think they should cede the rural vote to the GOP.

      • WUSRPH

        I disagree with two points:

        First, there is nothing wrong with running a token gubernatorial candidate. The GOP did it for years while they built the party. The Democratic Party is, unfortunately, in the same place the GOP was 30 years ago.

        As to writing off rural Texas and the metro-suburbs, the fact is
        that there can actually be MORE VOTES for a Democratic candidate in some of these areas then there are in the traditional Demo strongholds. It is true that a Democratic candidate in Hispanic areas may get 70% of the votes cast….but only 40% in some of these areas…However, that overlooks the basic question of “Percent of what?”…70% sounds good but not it if is 70% of a 15% turnout of registered voters….Similarly, 40% sounds bad, but not when it is 40% of a 35% turnout rate.

        One of the goals of a battleground effort under whatever name it goes is to identify and get out that hidden Democratic vote. Tapping it will be the road back to statewide offices. Winning the Legislature will take longer because of the overly-gerrymanded districts, but there can come a day when the Democratic vote in the Leg. is once again enough to make a real difference. It won’t come easily. It will require a lot of work. But the GOP did it…and so can the Democratic Party.

        Remember, the GOP won only ONE statewide office in 100 years before 1978. It was out of power in Texas for a lot longer than the 20 years that the the Democratic Party has been.

        • Jon

          But it does come down to how you go about tapping it and what preconceived notions you have coming into the state.

          I watched State Sen. Carlos Uresti at a Texas Tribune seminar on fracking on Friday talk about the problems with fracking as it relates to his voters in District 19, but never once did he mention any type of draconian measures against it, because he knows the process has brought far more benefits than liabilities to his historically lower-income District 19, both at its eastern and western ends.

          Contrast that to the two Battleground Texas volunteers mentioned above when it comes to talking about fracking. They could probably go to Austin and fit in perfectly with thousands of other like-minded people. But to take that mindset out into the Corpus Christi region or into Uresti’s Eagle Ford or Wolfbone shale areas — both of which regularly vote Democratic — would be political suicide.

          You can’t bring New York, Washington, California, or even central Austin Democratic Party thinking on some big issues into other parts of Texas and expect to win over voters — if you’re going into Latino-majority regions of the state with Battleground Texas and pushing ideas that will lower their income levels and overall regional quality-of-life, the only thing you’re going to get is Latino Republican voters. In-state Democrats understand this more than out-of-staters, but 2014 was all about the out-of-staters coming off Obama’s 2012 win thinking they knew how to turn Texas Blue in a 20-month period.

          • WUSRPH

            Needless-to-say, the Battleground effort has not been anywhere near perfect. But it was a beginning….that needs to be followed up….This time they had a lot to learn…about Texas and about how to GOTV here…but if the effort continues it will become more proficient as it develops. One hopes that next time they can use more native volunteers (and paid workers) and not have to rely on outsiders, even outsiders from a particular area. It will take time. It took the GOP many years to build up to where it is now. No one with any intelligence thinks (I hope) that a battleground effort could do the job in 20 months. It will take several election cycles before it can really show its merit, if it has any.

          • Jon

            How it goes will depend on how willing national Democratic groups are to electing Democrats in Texas who will hold positions on 1-2 issues that are anathema to Democrats in other parts of the country that traditionally vote with the party.

            You see the same thing on the Republican side in regards to someone like Chris Christie in New Jersey — conservatives will rail that he’s not a real Republican because his views on 1-2 issues aren’t their views, ignoring the fact that if he held the exact same views as they did, or that Greg Abbott does, he wouldn’t have gotten elected Governor of New Jersey.

            The main mistake of the out-of-staters who came in to Texas this year seems to be the belief that they could make enough Texas voters come to their ideology on some of the hottest of hot-button issues, instead of recognizing the electorate as it is in 2013-14. That’s why I found Wendy Davis’ campaign strategy to be so flawed, because she had spent half a decade building up the kind of legislative record in the Texas Senate a Democrat needs to run in Texas at this time, then threw it all away because her handlers decided it was more important to court the big money donors and media types from out-of-state than it was to win over swing voters in Texas.

            It showed either a naivety about the state’s demographics and economic realities, or incredible hubris in believing they were such master manipulators of the people, they could sell heating systems at the equator. And if they return to Texas in 2018 with the same mindset, they’ll get the same result.

          • WUSRPH

            You certainly have a low opinion of Sen. Davis if you believe “her handlers” could make her do something she did not agree with. I hope she is not that weak willed.

          • Jon

            My feeling is that when people come into Texas who’ve just helped re-elect a President of the United States, a candidate may tend to listen to their advice. But you also assume (or should assume) that the campaign handlers are savvy enough to tailor their advice to each individual state and situation.

            That doesn’t seem to be what happened here — the Battleground Texas folks seem to have had the same attitude towards crafting a Texas-friendly message as Henry Ford used to have towards painting Model-Ts in different colors. In their minds, what worked on a national level would work in this state. Wendy should have seen the smoke in the building last fall and headed for the emergency exit.

          • Michael Bergsma

            At a townhall forum for a Republican Congressman, a Battleground operative attacked fracking. The room growled and the Congressman was given a way to define the democrats as anti-jobs. The Battleground staffers were far too left wing for Texas.

        • Kozmo

          Well, if the Republicans control Texas for a hundred years, there won’t be any state left for any party in 2114.

  • Ethics in Politics Optional

    Anyone else find it convienent and self serving that all of the elction sites controlled by the Secretary of State don’t work when a voter tries to enter in their information to find their polling location? Both websites votetexas.gov and the SOS will not release your polling location. On the SOS website it requires you to select your county from a drop down tab but it does not show ANY counties to select, or if you can select a county after multiple tries, it wil simply show an error making the search inoperable. I’m sure the SOS would be just fine if no one could find their precinct polling location tomorrow.


    If you have not done so already, please go vote tomorrow (Tuesday)…Actually, go vote any way…….We may not win…but we have to show them that we are here and will not be overlooked that easily.

    Also, remember that a new law has struck dumb the same election clerks and judges who have watched you vote for years (since 1983 in my case) so that they no longer know who you are. This means that you will have to prove your existence to people you have known and who have known you for years out of some fear that you are not who you have been claiming to be for many, many years.

    May all your candidates–other than Republicans–win big!

    • tomsmithdeal

      Well, I am in Georgia and have to show a photo ID to vote. Good idea. I don’t want my vote cancelled by someone who just wandered into a voting site for maybe the fifth time that day. Voting is a very important right and the sanctity of the election process demands that it be protected. If you think that it is racist or discriminatory, produce one single individual who can not get a FREE state issued ID but, somehow, someway can get to a voting booth. Until you can produce that individual, you need to sit down and shut up. BTW, I have to produce my driver’s license to get a document notarized at my local bank by the same people that I am on a first name basis with. Should I be offended?

      • José

        And will you produce evidence of all those voting fraud cases that would be prevented by the Voter ID law? Yeah…
        Guys like old Tom her are pretty hard to figure out. Do they really believe this myth about rampant voter fraud, or are they simply being dishonest when they know for a fact that the purpose of these laws is voter suppression?

  • St. Wendy

    Here is a great piece that will serve as the perfect obituary for Wendy’s ill conceived gubernatorial run. To sum up the article, you ain’t gonna get elected governor of Texas running on a Cecile Richards approved platform of abortion fanaticism.


    • José

      Transvaginal ultrasounds for EVERYONE!
      Hold steady, please. This wand might be a bit cold…

      • St. Wendy

        Concerning ultrasounds in connection with abortions, Adrienne Schreiber, an official at Planned Parenthood, told Commentary Magazine in February 2012, “That’s just the medical standard” to perform an ultrasound before an abortion.To confirm the gestational age of the pregnancy, before any procedure is done, you do an ultrasound.” Ultrasounds serve the essential medical purpose of confirming the presence, location, and gestational age of a pregnancy. “The age and condition of the embryo or fetus is necessary to properly guide the physician in selection of the appropriate procedure to terminate the pregnancy.” Ultrasounds also help to diagnose ectopic pregnancies which, if left undiagnosed, can result in infertility or even fatal blood loss. The National Abortion Federation (NAF) lists “undiagnosed ectopic pregnancy” as one of “[t]he main complications” of chemical abortions. Sorry, Jose,the joke falls flat when you don’t have your facts straight.

        • José

          And exactly which facts did I state that aren’t straight? I’ll answer to what I said but not to what you imagine. Honestly!
          Are follow up questions allowed? I hope so!
          1. The anti-choice folks use a pretty liberal definition of the term “abortion”, to include IUDs, Plan B morning after pill, and even standard oral contraceptives. Approximately what percentage of those “abortions” are proceeded by the routine ultrasound screening? If the answer is “zero”, then are they the liars or are you?
          2. Regarding “abortion fanaticism”, would that be the state legislators who are tripping over themselves to adopt numerous and unnecessary regulation of abortion providers, or the people who are generally trying to protect the status quo?
          3. Who are the true conservatives? The ones who create new legislation to insert the state government in the middle of a very personal decision made by a woman consulting with her doctor, or the ones who think that personal liberty ought to extend at least as far as one’s own body?

    • Jed

      funny, i think richards might have outpointed davis.

    • John Johnson

      I agree, St. Wendy. I agree.

  • lemme see if I understand….the dems will lose tomorrow because the voters are stupid……

    • Blue Dogs

      Books, I’m expecting the following to happen tomorrow night:
      Republicans picking up the following seats in the United States Senate
      1.) Iowa (open)
      2.) South Dakota (open)
      3.) Montana (open)
      4.) Alaska
      5.) Colorado
      6.) New Hampshire
      7.) Arkansas
      8.) West Virginia (open)
      9.) North Carolina
      10.) Louisiana

      Governor’s Mansions:
      Republicans picking up the following
      1.) Illinois: Rauner (R) beats incumbent Quinn (D) in Obama’s home state

      2.) Maryland (open): Larry Hogan (R) knocks off LG Anthony G. Brown (D). O’Malley and Obama fatigue has doomed him.

      3.) Arkansas (open): expect a massive GOP sweep of ALL statewide offices in the Natural State, further cementing the demise of the AR Dems.

      4.) Massachusetts (open): Coakley is choking like Tony Romo….AGAIN !!!!!!

      5.) Connecticut: Malloy very unpopular.

      6.) Colorado: Beauprez (R) knocks off incumbent Hickenlooper (D)

      Dems pick-up:
      1.) Florida: with former Governor Charlie Crist (R/Ind/D)

      Incumbent party holds:
      1.) Pennsylvania: with incumbent Governor Tom Corbett (R) winning reelection: 51%-49%.

      2.) Maine: LePage wins reelection.

      3.) Wisconsin: GOP hold.

      4.) Minnesota: Dem Hold

      5.) Ohio: Kasich wins reelection very BIG: with 64% and carrying 87 out of 88 counties.

      6.) California: Moonbeam wins reelection to historic 4th term.

      7.) Texas (open): Abbott crushes Davis: 57%-39%; carries 228 out of 254 counties.

      • WUSRPH

        I see some changes from some earlier “preee dictions”….but we will hold you to these. You know it requires 50+% to win in Louisiana. The odds there are for a GOP leading but a December run-off. Are you picking Nunn in Georgia?

        • Blue Dogs

          On Georgia: I don’t see Nunn winning because of the backlash against the Obama WH. The GA Dems aren’t back yet.

          It’s still a deep Red state.

          On LA, I have Cassidy defeating Landrieu in the December runoff, 57%-43%.

  • Jon

    The entire Battleground Texas operation only makes sense if you assume they never thought they could win in 2014, and were simply building up donor/mailing lists for 2018 and a run by Julian Castro.

    If you’re trying to fire up passionate, big money out-of-state donors who might still be around 2-4 years from now, the Davis campaign strategy has some sort of logic … unless you’re Wendy Davis and were actually hoping to win on Tuesday. But the strategies followed — up through and including the recent series of campaign ads and press releases — seem to only be designed to excite the higher-income base, and not either the swing voters of Texas nor the lower-income core Democratic voters of South Texas or even the inner city areas of the state.

    (BTW — Here’s the thread on Paul’s post from September 18 of last year, just before Wendy announced her candidacy for governor — http://www.texasmonthly.com/burka-blog/davis-hints-future-plans

    You could already tell then the looming strategy was going to be a train wreck if carried out. But they kept on keeping on and — since oil prices haven’t hit $50 a barrel and there hasn’t been a major scandal at the top of state government — Tuesday’s election was the inevitable result of running a campaign targeted to please people in New York, Washington and California instead of your own state’s voters.)

    • Blue Dogs

      They should’ve put former Houston Mayor Bill White (D) as the nominee for Governor again this year.

      • Jon

        Even with the filibuster, if Wendy Davis runs on her overall record as District 10 State Senator and doesn’t allow the out-of-state consultants to define her as the abortion candidate — in the same way the Abbott campaign wanted to define her — she may not have won, but she might have cut the final margin under 10 percent, giving Democrats hope for the 2016-18 cycles.

        But running on her overall record as District 10 State Senator would have been dull and boring to the out-of-state types, who never wanted to hear about Wendy’s views on school funding equalization. You don’t take a moderate Republican candidate in New York or California and run him in a statewide race as Ted Cruz lite, and you don’t take a moderate Democrat in Texas and run her as if she’s campaigning for the statehouse in Albany or Sacramento (even if the voting patterns in Austin aren’t much different from Albany or Sacramento). The strategy was the campaign equivalent of the 2014 Oakland Raiders.

  • AlmostNormalTexan

    Battleground Texas, from my understanding, was founded to boost Democratic prospects in the state over the long term. That is a different goal from that of Wendy Davis’s, which should have been to run the best campaign she could with the resources and electorate she has today. It seems like mission creep set in at Battleground Texas and the goalpost shifted to winning the 2014 gubernatorial election, which was arguably never a realistic goal.

    As for Wendy Davis, she ran a piss poor campaign that was more about boosting her own brand, selling her book and setting herself up for paid slots on MSNBC and Huffington Post. She knows exactly how to reach out to independents and Republicans – she did it twice in state senate elections. She did none of that in this race, knowing full well that a Democrat would have to get at least 10-15% of the Republican vote to win a statewide race.

  • don76550

    Well they did accomplish one thing. It energized conservatives to be sure to vote to insure marxist democrats win no offices.

    • Blue Dogs

      TX Democrats will NEVER win statewide offices again in my lifetime.

      • Thats a good thing, democrats are fleeing the high tax states controlled by democrats.

    • adam smith

      Not really Don. The GOP will sweep the statewides again and turnout might be up in Collin or Denton, but its way down in rural counties and smaller metro counties like Lubbock, and Bell.

  • Τσοπανος

    The Republican plan is working…provide lousy education,.. keep people stupid..stupid people do not vote and if they vote they vote Republican..and Texas is full of stupid people..very simple…

    • well we just verified one stupid person

      • Jed


      • Τσοπανος

        That was great that you stood up to be counted Mr. Books..lol..

  • John Johnson

    I am convinced that all political campaign consultant “guru’s” attended the same school, regardless of affiliation. They are all loons IMHO. Wendy Davis is not the person she has now been etched in concrete to be by hired hands she turned herself over to. if she had taken the low road and not sold out to the far left…if she just pushed the same middle of the road agenda she did as a state senator…she would be much better off. The majority of Texas voters are stupid. Her goofy handlers waved red flags in these “catch bits and pieces”, “I’m a Republican, but don’t know what it means” crowd, time and time again. She never told them how she was going to fight to insure more money stayed in their pockets through the utility and insurance reforms she has always fought for. She made a mistake. This said, she might still be governor. She has always been underestimated

    • Democrats always say we didn’t win because the voters are stupid. And most democrat voters are stupid.

    • Jed

      crazy. you keep wishing she ran more to the center. let me ask you this: what would running to the center look like, to you?

      because i can assure you, speaking as someone on the far left, she sure didn’t make it far enough over here to “sell out” to us. we can’t even see her from here.

      but i do like how you suggested she should have taken the “low road.” i couldn’t agree more. her campaign was not nearly negative enough to score the needed points.

      • John Johnson

        You far left? Nah. No way. 🙂

        At what point would you not have voted for Davis? If she hadn’t branded herself as so abortion friendly would you have still voted for her? Well, as soon as she did, moderates ran the other way and she she needed them. She ended up just stuck with you guys and a handful like me.

        • Jed

          you’re right, i would have voted for davis no matter what. but there are a lot of people who don’t feel as connected to the political process as i do, and who are on the left, and who are dissuaded by her centrist tendencies (they don’t see her as any different).

          you can talk about losing moderates all day, but show me a texas moderate, and i’ll show you a republican.

          what davis needed are actual texas democrats. and those people don’t vote. they haven’t voted, probably ever. and they wont vote – until they have someone to vote for (if then). some of those people were the targets of battleground texas, i.e. valley hispanics, who might have been motivated or a candidate other than davis. but more are just plain leftists.

          davis did not afford that group an attractive option. i can’t even remember the last time a statewide candidate in texas did. maybe never. but they exist. i know, because i talk to them every day.

          and that’s my point. before you shovel dirt on the texas left, maybe you should actually run a candidate on the left.

          davis was not that candidate.

          • John Johnson

            Don’t think I can add to what you’ve said. I believe you have stated that the real Democrats are such twits that they would rather stay at home and have a Republican govern them than vote for a Democrat that ventured off toward the middle on occasion. That about it? BTW, what is a yellow dog democrat?



    People love to talk about how many people are moving to Texas every day. 1,000 most say. But few talk about how many are LEAVING Texas each year. The difference between the two is called “net migration”. The link, above, will take you to an interesting site maintained by Governing that allows you to see where the people are coming from and where they are going. The main data is of 2010, but there is also limited new stuff.

    One of the things that Gov. Rick and company love to talk about is how many Californians
    are fleeing that “socialist” state to come to the Texas, the land of freedom. The data, in fact, shows that Californians do make up the greatest number of people moving to Texas each year…However, it also shows that Texans are the largest group moving TO CALIFORNIA. There is a net gain for Texas, but it still looks like a large number of Texans are attracted to life among the Lotus Leaf Eaters.

    One thing the figures do show is that there is no great rush of people from Democratic controlled states to Texas. In fact, the majority of the new Texans come from surrounding states and other southern states….not from the Midwest or Northeast. In other words, we are getting more of what is already here. But the Myth will prevail as Myths do not require facts.

    I hope you find this site of interest and/or use.


    A candidate who would allow himself/herself to be mislead by some advisor into running a campaign not of his/her choice is a weak person. But candidates and their believers always like to blame someone else when it goes wrong.

  • Wilson James

    Democrats did a very poor job overall in Texas campaigning. But, they did get some traction from Latinos and younger folks. They will prevail in the end as the old white money dies off. Wendy was a decent candidate with a bad campaign and there was no one down ticket. GOP side was the weakest and least inspiring in recent memory. Put it all together and more fun in ’16.

    • Madrigalian

      At the risk of sounding as racist and ignorant as your original post, I just thought I would let you know… I’m young white money.. and I’m not going anywhere.

      • Wilson James

        Whew. I fell better knowing that.

  • Kozmo

    I was surprised and dismayed that on my Travis Co. ballot, there were so many races where the Dems did not even field a candidate. The choice was between Republicans or Republicans Lite (Libertarians) and/or sometimes maybe a Green Party candidate. I often saw Greens running in races against the Repubs but no Democrats. Has the party sunk that low that they don’t even bother anymore? It’s not healthy to have a one-party tyranny. We are looking more like a banana republic here all the time.

  • wessexmom

    Like the Texas GOP Party is so respectable in their tactics?
    Looking forward to your reaction as your BRILLIANT Boy Wonder Ted Cruz sets up for the presidential primaries in the coming months, Mr. Burka! Haven’t heard you bragging about him much lately!

  • Madrigalian

    Texans just aren’t going to hang their political hats on Abortion. Sorry.

  • TEXRedNeck

    Wait, wait, wait there is one significant victory! D’Metria Benson, Dallas Worst Judge, based on Judicial Evaluation Polls was re-elected by an even wider margin this time than last.

    While Battleground Texas could not get Craig Watkins (Dallas Democratic D.A. mired in scandal who had never tried a felony case) re-elected they did manage to increase the percentage by which Dallas Worst Judge was re-elected! Go Battlegound Texas.

    Even though D Magazine had long ago christened D’Metria Benson Dallas Worst Judge and the day before the election “Texas Lawyer” published an article that at best questioned her abilities and at worst questioned her character but probably did both: