What made Wendy Davis famous will also be what Republicans use against her in her campaign to be governor of Texas. Davis, who gained national attention after filibustering a bill restricting abortion, will announce her campaign for governor of Texas on Thursday in a suburb of Fort Worth. If Davis wins the Democratic nomination, she'll struggle to beat the Republican candidate, which will likely be Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott. Pro-life activists already have anti-Wendy ads ready to go on the radio this weekend.
Texas Right to Life will start running an ad which charges that Davis is an "abortion zealot." "Wendy Davis believes terminating babies even halfway through pregnancy is OK," the ad says. "Wendy Davis is wrong on life, wrong for our children and wrong for Texas." In July, Davis filibustered SB5, a Senate bill that aimed to ban abortions after 20 weeks, as well as shutdown abortion clinics by requiring them to meet the standards of ambulatory surgical centers. Gov. Rick Perry signed a version of that bill into law on July 18.
In a poll conducted by the nonpartisan public policy group Texas Lyceum released this week, Abbott leads Davis 29 percent to 21 percent, with many undecided voters. Neither candidate has widespread support in Texas yet (though of course, neither has officially announced). But history suggests Davis might not have a chance. Texas is a very red state — Mitt Romney trounced Obama there in 2012. Republicans have won every state-wide seat since 1994. The last Democrat to win the governor's race was Ann Richards in 1990.
Some analysts think the booming Hispanic population in Texas could help Davis. And since 2010, suburban women in Texas have been trending away from Republicans and towards Democrats. Unfortunately, Davis' strongest support comes from Democrats outside the Lone Star state. She has been reaching out to "high placed Democrats" for help in advance of her announcement today.