The Campaign Spot

Wendy Davis, the Ned Lamont of 2014

Wendy Davis, the Texas Democratic state legislator who engaged in a filibuster to preserve late-term abortions, is reportedly running for governor.

Republicans should be elated at this development. The Cook Partisan Voting Index scores Texas as R+10, and Davis’s bid will inevitably be defined by her trademark stance. A University of Texas poll found 62 percent said they would support “prohibiting abortions after 20 weeks based on the argument that a fetus can feel pain at that point,” and that same percentage said they support “prohibiting abortions after 20 weeks.”

Yet her status as a heroine to the pro-late-term-abortion Democratic-party grassroots will ensure that she will get a small fortune in donations, money that could otherwise have been spent in more competitive races. She’ll also probably get a lot of national press coverage.

She could be this cycle’s Ned Lamont — the liberal anti-war challenger to Senator Joe Lieberman in Connecticut in 2006. Lamont was a hero to the anti-war Democratic grassroots — Markos Moulitsas appeared in a commercial for him.

Markos Moulitsas, peering in the window of Ned Lamont’s house in one of the odder ads of the 2006 cycle.

Lamont won the Democratic primary . . . only to lose to Lieberman, running as an independent, in November. A loud but small minority of the electorate at large fell in love with him, only to find that the voters as a whole didn’t agree.

Of course, Ned Lamont spent $16 million of his own fortune on that Senate bid, and collected about $3 million from donations. Davis will require a lot more help from the DGA and Democratic 527s.

Lamont ran for govenror a few years later and lost in the Democratic primary; he is currently teaching at Central Connecticut State University.

Most Popular

U.S.

Columbia 1968: Another Untold Story

Fifty years ago this week, Columbia students riding the combined wave of the civil-rights and anti-war movements went on strike, occupied buildings across campus, and shut the university down. As you revisit that episode of the larger drama that was the annus horribilis 1968, bear in mind that the past isn’t ... Read More
Culture

Only the Strident Survive

‘I am not prone to anxiety,” historian Niall Ferguson wrote in the Times of London on April 22. “Last week, however, for the first time since I went through the emotional trauma of divorce, I experienced an uncontrollable panic attack.” The cause? “A few intemperate emails, inadvertently forwarded ... Read More

Poll Finds Nevada Voters Support School-Choice Programs

According to an April poll, a large number of Nevada voters support school-choice programs. The poll, conducted by Nevada Independent/Mellman, found that 70 percent of voters support a proposal for a special-needs Education Savings Account and 59 percent support expanding the funding for the current tax-credit ... Read More
World

Microscopic Dots. Let’s Look at Them.

Stuart E. Eizenstat has written a big book on the Carter presidency. (Eizenstat was Carter’s chief domestic-policy adviser. He also had a substantial hand in foreign affairs.) I have reviewed the book for the forthcoming NR. Eizenstat tells the story of a meeting between President Carter and Andrei Gromyko, the ... Read More