Fresh off of one of the worst political defeats in Texas history, the Wendy Davis campaign is showing no signs of serious self-introspection. As Breitbart reports, they are mainly attributing their losses to immigration and…Ebola:
Speaking on behalf of Davis’ campaign, Communications Director Zac Petkanas told the Wall Street Journal, “The losses that you are seeing in very blue states are simply amplified in states like Texas where there is already a structural advantage for Republicans,” he said. The Journal added that, “Another challenge, [Petkanas] said, was that Texas was at the center of two issues — immigration and the Ebola scare — that helped drive Republican voters to the polls.”
Many Americans do remain concerned about Ebola entering the country from heavily-afflicted nations in West Africa. However, most analysts attribute Davis’ loss to a poorly-run campaign and inability to connect with Texas voters.
Need I remind you that this is the same campaign that thought the race would come down to just a “few thousand votes”? The Washington Post article they also link to in the piece has many nuggets in it, but this part sums up the campaign’s message problems well enough:
Whatever it started out as, it bordered on incoherence in the waning days of the race.
Was she an Ann Richards progressive? A good ol’ gal moderate? Did she run away from Obama? Toward him?
Over the past 13 months, voters saw all that and more from the Davis operation.
I don’t think it’s inaccurate to say that issues like Ebola and immigration helped drive people to the polls, but the primary reason for the shellacking of the Davis campaign was that, from the top down, it was horribly. Contrary to what you might read in many places, Wendy is a smart lady and somewhat skilled as a politician, but she was plucked by Democrats eager for a rock star well before she was ready for national exposure. If you had asked me just after the RedState Gathering, where I got to hear many Texans opinions of her, I would have told you she’d probably be back for a future campaign as a stronger candidate, but after the last few months, you have to wonder if she’ll just have to settle for an MSNBC gig for the next several years. This is what tends to happen when you take a person who was a relatively nobody and thrust them into the national spotlight because they did one thing you like, whether it’s giving an hours long filibuster in support of the right to butcher unborn children at any point during a pregnancy.
Remember, the Wendy Davis campaign was such an epic failure even despite getting all sorts of help from the media, Liberal activists, Planned Parenthood, and Battleground Texas. Erick’s already put together a great post explaining just how bad the curbstomping was for that last one was, but this section from the Texas Tribune postmortem bears reposting:
“People often forget what the alternatives were,” [Jeremy Bird of Battleground Texas] said. “If she doesn’t run and we’re running no one at the top of the ticket, that certainly doesn’t help the long-term process.”
Speaking of no one: Jim Hogan, the Democratic nominee for agriculture commissioner, came into the race as a complete unknown. He didn’t spend a moment or a dollar campaigning. He received no direct support from Battleground. Yet he earned almost 37 percent of the vote in his race.
Even with all her help, Davis ended the night with 39 percent of the vote.
The Democrats even ran a guy named Sam Houston for attorney general. Like Davis, he only managed 39% of the vote. Greg Abbott won be an even larger margin than Rick Perry did in 2010 against Bill White, and the Tribune‘s put together a great pair of maps showing how the two elections’ results compare.
The Democrats will be reeling for a while thanks to their ill thought out decision to run Davis at the top of the ticket solely because she gave one big speech they liked, but for Republicans, these next four years in Texas should be a lot of fun to watch.