But, the hype from state Democrats is a bit "breathy." Like this:
Jason Stanford, a Texas-based Democratic consultant who worked on the unsuccessful re-election campaign of Gov. Ann Richards in 1994, said he didn’t want to speculate on Davis’ next steps — but, he added, “after Ann lost, she didn’t know what kind of future she had. It turned out she became even more influential than she had been as governor. Wendy Davis doesn’t even know what her options are right now — a lot depends on where the campaign goes.”First, Ms. Ann had actually been governor. And, she had held other statewide office before that. And, Democrats had at least partial control over the Lege for nearly a decade after that. So, she and Davis aren't remotely comparable.
But, her present doesn't look so bright, which is noted in the other piece, where Politico kicks her to the curb. Davis said she sees plenty of "energy" out there, but, so far, energy hasn't moved the needle in closing the gap in early-season polls.
And, Texas Democrats, not just Davis herself, are trying to keep up appearances, even in the face of national Democratic skepticism:
“That kind of mindset from national Democrats makes me want to pull my hair out,” longtime Texas Democratic consultant Harold Cook said. “…Nobody really knows for sure whether any of these Democrats have a chance, but they are awfully good candidates, and national Democrats signaling they don’t think they have a chance becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy. If national Democrats want to continue to have a can’t-do attitude, the hell with you, stay out of Texas.”Cook, responding to Democratic Governors Association Chairman Peter Shumlin, of course has good reason to work to keep up that smiley face. That said, Abbott's got a well-oiled and well-funded machine.
Realistically? This piece at the Texas Trib is right. If Davis wants to have a viable political future after this election, she has to finish closer to Abbott than Bill White did to Rick Perry four years ago. Because doorknob knows that she's more dynamic than White, let alone Chris Bell in 2006. Hence my poll on the right-hand column here.
My guesstimate? She will finish closer than White. But, that's not saying that much. By 2010, a fair amount of folks were tired of Perry. Hell, they were in 2006, which is why Pistol Packing Strayhorn and Kinky Friedman both entered the race as independents.
More realistic yet, and a better target, per Charles Kuffner, would be Leticia Van de Putte breaking 46 percent against The Stinking Anglo Formerly Known as Danny Goeb™, aka Dan Patrick.
If Texas Dems can't get voters to turn out in a midterm year against a candidate that vile, and especially if they can't get Hispanic voters to turn out in a midterm year to support a Hispanic lite gov candidate against a candidate that vile toward Hispanics, they're pretty hopeless indeed.