Eclectic commentary from a progressive voice in the red state

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Guv race could be closer than you think

Democrats may not need to be so pessimistic about one of their taking the Texas governor race after all.
Abbott at AC with his
video crew.

According to a Texas Lyceum Poll as reported in the Texas Tribune, state Rep. Wendy Davis has is only 8 percentage points behind Greg Abbott, the putative Republican nominee, in a hypothetical race for Texas governor. Those 8 points are more significant when viewed in context. First, in the overall polling, fully half the respondents were undecided, meaning it could be anyone’s race. Then, there is the gender gap, and Abbott suffers from it.

“Abbott’s lead shrinks to 2 points, within the margin of error, when only women are counted. In that slice of the electorate, Abbott had 25 percent and Davis was at 23 percent, with 51 percent undecided,” the Tribune reports.

Davis holds sizable leads in the black and Hispanic population, but suffers among independents — until the 74 percent undecided segment in the latter groups is considered.

The Tribune cites that Davis’ biggest deficit is in the size of the Abbott war chest, said to be $22 million while hers sits at less than 5 percent of Abbott’s.

But what the Tribune isn’t reporting, and so far none of the other media eight now, is how much of his staff on the state payroll are pumping out his public relations pieces to buttress his run for governor. When The Amarillo Independent last covered Abbott on a visit to Amarillo, it was to Amarillo College for Abbott to tout his war on sexual predators. He had several of his own camera and sound crew and it was clear this was a public relations event for him.

All that said, if the Democrats want to capture the top spot in Texas, it’s time for fund-raising in high gear now and time to go negative often and early on Abbott. He is plenty vulnerable.