Less than a year ago, Wendy Davis was being a heralded as the next big thing in the Democratic party. Now, in just a matter of a few days, the Texas state senator and gubernatorial candidate who rose to fame on a filibuster in favor of abortion rights has seen her one-time cheerleaders distancing themselves from her.
On Tuesday, while at a left-leaning think tank, Democratic Governors Association chairman and Vermont governor Peter Shumlin listed the top ten states, ranked in three tiers, where he’s hoping to oust a Republican:
Top tier: Florida, Maine, Pennsylvania;
Second tier: Michigan, Ohio, Wisconsin;
Third tier: Arizona, Georgia, Kansas, South Carolina
Notably absent from Shumlin’s list was Texas, where Davis is taking on Republican attorney general Greg Abbott.
“We all understand Democrats haven’t won Texas in a long time,” he explained to reporters when asked about the omission. “My job is not to promote governors’ races in states where we can’t win.”
Nearly every poll since January 2013 has shown Abbott leading Davis by double digits, including a recent PPP poll that showed Abbott up 51 percent to 37 percent.
Nonetheless, Davis’s campaign lashed out at the Shumlin and the DGA for slighting its candidate, blasting “whoever at the DGA prepared the governor’s talking points” as “a Washington, D.C., desk jockey who’s never stepped foot in Texas.”
Then, on Thursday, the Davis campaign learned a key member would be departing six months from election day.
Spokesman Bo Delp insisted he was confident in Davis’s chances, but wanted to pursue “a number of other opportunities in Texas Democratic politics” after eight months on the job.
“I am proud of the work I have done, and know that my successor will continue to build on my successes, and my mistakes, to do what is necessary to win in November,” he said in his resignation letter.
Davis already faced an uphill climb to try and turn Texas blue, and events like this week’s will only make it that much harder.