Friday, October 04, 2013

"A lot less Lone, and a lot more Star"

Yeah.  Especially as compared to the black hole that is Greg Abbott.

“We know that Texas is more than a state,” she said. “Texas has always been a promise. The promise that where you start has nothing to do with how far you can come. In Austin today, our current leadership thinks that promises are something you just make to the people who write the big checks.” 

That's one big difference between her and her opponent for certain.

"Texans don't want to sit back and watch Austin turn into Washington, D.C.," Davis said. "State leaders in power keep forcing people to opposite corners to prepare for a fight instead of coming together to get things done."

"Until the families who are burning the candle at both ends can finally make ends meet, we will keep going. Until the amazing health care advances being pioneered in this state reach everyone who needs them, we will keep going," she said.

What I am liking best are the populist undercurrents.  Speaking of Current...

However, there is nothing fuzzy about the math. The Democrats can take Texas in 2016 if they can tap into one a key segment: white Texans, and in particular white women, the new kingmakers–or queenmakers–of Lone Star politics.

Why? Women of color broadly support Democratic candidates, but that’s just the point: BGTX needs to mine new veins of voters. At least at this stage, minority population trends alone will not lock up the race, since heavily Republican non-Hispanic whites will still hold a slim majority through the next presidential cycle. Even if Battleground succeeds in ramping up meager Hispanic voter turnout to white levels, a Republican candidate would likely still prevail in 2016.

“I think [Battleground Texas] realizes that it’s not just a matter of finding and turning out minority voters,” says Ruy Teixeira, co-author of the book The Emerging Democratic Majority and a senior fellow at Center for American Progress. “It’s also a matter of finding and turning out relatively liberal white voters, given the structure of the Texas electorate and given how conservatively white voters have been voting. The treasure trove would presumably be more likely to be college educated, more likely to be younger, and more likely to be women living in the big metropolitan areas.”

"Get the gringa."  There's about fifty more grafs I want to cut and paste from there into this post, but that crowds the Fair Use etiquette, so read this and then go read the whole thing.

Make no mistake: Texans stand among the conservative crowd, but, unlike their government, squarely in a moderate vein. According to last month’s University of Texas at Austin/Texas Tribune Texas Politics Poll, a relative majority of registered voters self-identify as moderate, with an absolute majority describing themselves as moderate or moderate with a liberal or conservative leaning; only one-third label themselves somewhat or very conservative.

The same poll reveals a majority of support for background checks on all gun purchases, including gun shows and private sales, the right to same-sex marriage, access to legal abortion, boosting funding for public education, and comprehensive immigration reform. Yet time and again Perry and like-minded lawmakers soften gun laws, denounce gay unions, and shortchange education and healthcare. (Though this topic was not in the most recent UT/TT poll, other surveys such as the Lyceum indicated most Texans favored accepting the Medicaid expansion, rejected by the state for an estimated loss of $100 billion in federal health care funds.)

These are among the reasons why Abbott and those who support him are so scared.

Last month, when Senator Davis postponed her announcement because she was mourning her father who died unexpectedly, the campaign of Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott, her most likely opponent, took the opportunity to disrespect her, gleefully retweeting a tweet that referred to her as “Retard Barbie” and calling her “too stupid to be governor” on Twitter.

The Texas Republicans pretend to be unconcerned, but there is evidence to the contrary. Today, within one hour after her official announcement, the state party was up with a website complaining that Wendy was anti-gun and pro-choice. (Well, duh. Isn’t that what this election is about?)

That’s all you need to know about how they really feel about the candidacy of Senator Wendy Davis.

The Republicans can tweet and retweet all the insults they want. The website they had ready and waiting proves they take Senator Davis seriously. Though they haven’t the manners to show it, they respect Wendy Davis. I would go as far as to say they fear her. At least four clinics have closed since her history making filibuster. They know if she can liberate Texas women from Texas “man-splaining” Wendy Davis could be governor.

M. E. Williams at Salon has a good explanation about how bogus this attack is.

And that quote that late term abortion is “sacred ground”? What Davis said during an August luncheon: “I will seek common ground because we all must. But sometimes you have to take a stand on sacred ground. Liberty: the freedom to choose what your future will hold.” She didn’t call abortion sacred, you illiterate numbskulls, she called liberty sacred.

But the best response is being worn by those two guys in the top photo, slightly to the right of center.  These guys.

That right there is pretty much the key to a Democratic victory in November 2014: White dudes, slightly right of center.  And their moms and aunts and sisters and every woman they are friends with, and all the other women they know.

You'll hear a lot about the growing Hispanic vote and how it may become the catalyst for a "blue" Texas. But what makes Texas harder today for Democrats than some other high-growth, demographically changing states in the west and south is that Democrats in Texas get a very, very low share of the white vote -- so low that minority voters and Hispanic voters cannot yet make up the difference.

For instance: in the last midterm cycle of 2010, Texas' white voters gave the Democratic gubernatorial candidate just 29 percent of their votes. At the same time, Colorado's Democratic candidate got 47 percent of whites -- and then the Hispanic vote put him over the top. In Florida, even in losing, the Democratic candidate got 41 percent of whites. For Democrats and the white vote in states like this, it's not about winning, it's about not losing by too much. (On the presidential level, Barack Obama had gotten 26 percent of Texas' white vote in 2008. That same year, he got 39 percent of it in Virginia, which he won, just to offer an example.)

If we look deeper into that Texas white vote, we see a lot of conservatives -- and it isn't clear Davis is poised to run on an appeal to conservatives, given her history. Most Texas voters (51 percent) were conservative in the last midterm -- yes, that's most voters, not just most Republicans. Even 20 percent of Texas Democrats in 2010 called themselves conservative, a relatively high percent compared to Democrats in blue states. Davis may look to appeal to women voters on women's issues, and that may well be effective. But in Texas, a lot of women independents are conservative, too: 40 percent, more than three times the number who called themselves liberal.


Elderlady said...

I did a Google search, and I suspect Mattel threatened everybody within an inch of their lives, if they used that. Which also means there is less a chance that we will be seeing those offensive "abortion Barbie" things either. Those guys may have made their shirts. I didn't find them. But, did find one other I may order. It's a Grandmas for Wendy. Just FYI.

Infidel753 said...

Good to see some hopeful news for Davis's chances.

The whole country will be watching this race.