Richard Greene

Not much traction for Wendy Davis in latest Texas polling

Early voting for the Nov. 4 election kicks off in about two weeks and mail-in ballots are already arriving.

With the results of the latest polling, it’s not too soon to speculate as to why Wendy Davis has not gained more traction in her bid to become Texas’ first Democratic governor in 20 years.

While some have optimistically characterized the newest Texas Lyceum poll as showing she is closing the gap or gaining on Republican opponent Greg Abbott, the poll director of that nonpartisan organization has a different take.

His conclusion from the poll finding Abbott with a 9-point lead reads like this: “The number of candidates who have made up this kind of deficit in the last month [before Election Day], in a state where party ID favors the other side so consistently, is near zero.”

The election-watch website Real Clear Politics, which publishes averages of several polls, is showing Davis trailing Abbott by almost 12 points.

So why has all the enthusiasm that spread way beyond Texas when she emerged from her famous filibuster against further protections for unborn babies and their mothers not resulted in a closer race?

I am going to offer three answers to that question, but you can find many others almost anywhere you would care to look in what’s left of the national discussion that has pretty much fizzled to within the boundaries of Texas.

First is the reality that Texas remains a very Republican state and not yet ready to cede to the liberal policies of the Democratic Party’s constant drive for an ever-growing role of government in the lives of independent citizens.

While there was a lot of initial excitement that Wendy could open the door to such a transformation, the prospects in the party have all but disappeared along with the plunge of the popularity of our Democrat president.

Media reports describing competitive governor races around the country usually don’t mention Texas. The impression certainly is that political analysts everywhere have reached pretty much the same conclusion as that of the Lyceum poll director’s interpretation of a Democratic win: zero.

Secondly, and closely tied to the first question, is how Wendy’s campaign reflects those liberal policies.

Her positions on top issues she promises to pursue as governor would come at higher costs. Answers to questions of where and how that money would be found are uncertain and often unclear.

As laudatory as initiatives may be to further public education and healthcare and transportation and more, the elected representatives of Texans across the state remain opposed to the spending and requisite taxes required to carry out Wendy’s agenda.

The outcome of her becoming governor would result in none of those costs being funded and therefore none of such promises becoming a reality. Voters know that and, as such, render her candidacy almost irrelevant.

The third reason is the biggest one: Texans, including a majority of Texas women, never supported her famous pro-abortion stand. Try as she may to convert her opposition to further limits on destroying life in the womb to that of promoting “women’s health,” voters aren’t buying it.

Interestingly, she reminds everyone who visits her website of that stand as she proudly poses with those two upraised fingers designating a “no” vote on the bill that was always going to pass and hopefully result in fewer abortions.

Yet, the election isn’t over. In politics, anything can happen, no matter how unlikely it may seem. Abbott shouldn’t send anyone into the governor’s mansion to arrange the furniture to his liking.

He will have to wait another month to do that.

Richard Greene is a former Arlington mayor and served as an appointee of President George W. Bush as regional administrator for the Environmental Protection Agency. mayorgreene@mayorgreene.com

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