Democrats are understandably delirious over the finding in the UT/Texas Tribune Poll that Wendy Davis trails Greg Abbott by single digits. But that is not the most significant finding in the poll.
The most significant finding is that “the fundamentals of Texas politics have not changed,” says pollster Jim Henson. In plain English, that means there has not been a shift in partisan affiliation. Until there is some evidence that such a shift is under way, Democrats will remain in electoral purgatory, unable to compete with Republicans come election time, except for unusual circumstances. This doesn’t mean that Davis can’t win in 2014; it just means that Democratic strength hasn’t come close to achieving critical mass.