Big Bucket of Cold Water, Wendy Davis Edition

by evanmcmurry

A UT/Texas Tribune poll showing Wendy Davis only down by six points lit everybody’s fire yesterday, so here’s a bucket of cold water:

PPP’s newest poll of next year’s race for Governor of Texas finds Republican Greg Abbott expanding his lead over Democrat Wendy Davis. Abbott now has a 15 point advantage at 50/35. That’s up a good amount from our last poll, conducted the week of Davis’ famous filibuster, when Abbott led just 48/40. But it’s pretty comparable to what we found in January when he had a 46/34 lead.

Public Policy Polling—not exactly Rasmussen, mind you—goes on to show that as the public’s awareness of Davis went up, so did her unfavorability number. This makes sense: if you were inspired by the filibuster that launched Davis into the race, you already knew who she was, whereas much of the less attentive electorate, which leans right, still thinks of her as “that pink shoe lady,” if they think of her at all. Which is to say, don’t expect Davis’ numbers to improve much for the next few months.

Still, there’s this:

Voters narrowly oppose the abortion law that put her in the spotlight, 40/41, including 37/48 opposition among independent voters. Concern that she may have difficulty in the election because she’s seen as too liberal on that particular issue may not be warranted.

Democratic efforts to turn Texas blue that don’t rely on long-game demographic changes have some wiggle room there. If independents aren’t sold on the Texas GOP’s severity on non-economic issues, Democrats can drag the election a bit closer to center.

In the meantime, remember that Davis’ campaign was an uphill battle from the start, and barring some cataclysmic event she’s most likely not going to win. Don’t get your hopes up.

Now for your two minutes hate: