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October 11, 2013

Wendy Davis Not Catching On In The Rio Grande Valley

South Texas Not Receptive To Wendy Davis' Liberal Message

Astute political observers on both sides of the aisle suggest that Wendy Davis will have to achieve record turnout and a receive a record high percentage of the vote among Hispanics in South Texas just to avoid losing by double digits to the Republican nominee in November 2014.

So, how is she doing?

Not well.

Not only has Wendy Davis received relatively few of her donations from inside Texas, her fundraising in South Texas is even worse. The San Antonio Express-News reports that “virtually none” of her campaign donations originated in the Rio Grande Valley, “despite it being one of the most lucrative fundraising centers in the state for Democrats.” The Express-News continues: “In all, Davis has raised less than $700 from the four largest cities in the Rio Grande Valley.”

In all, Davis has raised less than $700 from the four largest cities in the Rio Grande Valley.

Compare that minuscule $700 to the out-of-state campaign cash Wendy Davis received in the two weeks after her infamous filibuster on behalf of substandard clinics and late-term abortion. Hundreds of thousands of dollars arrived in Texas from mostly deep blue states.

Indeed, examining Wendy Davis’ Texas Ethics Commission reports for 2013 in greater detail yields some startling truths about her lack of support in key Texas communities (versus California, Davis’ home state of Rhode Island, Washington, D.C., Chicago, Brooklyn, San Francisco, and foreign donations). The graphs below put those numbers into visual perspective (click any of the images to see larger versions).

Click any of the graphs above to see larger versions.

It isn’t surprising that Wendy Davis is a uniquely mismatched candidate for the South Texas. On issue after issue, Wendy Davis’ brand of San Francisco/Chicago/Brooklyn/D.C. liberalism simply doesn’t win over, let alone excite, South Texans.

The Guardian‘s political writer Harry Enten suggests, and Texas Monthly‘s Paul Burka agrees, that something else is at play, as well:

“Add on the fact that Texas Latinos are not as overwhelmingly Democratic as they are nationwide, thanks in part to good Republican outreach, and what you have in Texas is an absolute sinkhole for the Democratic party.”

The Republican Party of Texas is aggressively courting Hispanics in the state, and the efforts are paying off. Meanwhile, Democrats have nominated a uniquely problematic candidate for making South Texas inroads, due to her policy positions and record.

As former Rio Grande Valley Democrat State Representative Aaron Peña, who switched to the Republican Party, explains, Wendy Davis isn’t catching on in South Texas. Davis’ abortion message “doesn’t sell around here,” Peña notes. “These are not your Austin Democrat liberals.”

Indeed, Wendy Davis’ filibuster that made her such a hero to Nancy Pelosi was intended to block a law to change Texas’ abortion limitations from the sixth month of pregnancy (a date which is more liberal and later than the current limits in New York, California, Illinois, Massachusetts, Sweden, and even France) to the fifth month. Such a measure “is supported by 70 percent of Texas voters with an opinion on the matter, including two thirds of both Hispanics and Anglo women.”

Wendy Davis’ abortion extremism is just one issue among many that South Texas aren’t buying; her tax-hike-and-spend agenda and deep blue positions on other cultural issues also won’t sell in Texas in 2014.