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Friday, 04 October 2013 08:35

Why Wendy Davis May Be Texas's Next Governor, Despite Conventional Wisdom

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MARK KARLIN, EDITOR OF BUZZFLASH AT TRUTHOUT

Wendy Davis 2013          Texas State Sen. Wendy Davis Texas State Sen. Wendy Davis is on the radar screen of most BuzzFlash at Truthout readers for her defiant filibuster against an extremist anti-abortion law in Texas earlier this year.  

BuzzFlash noted the galvanizing moment -- when the Texas state capitol was filled with pro-choice supporters -- as Davis, wearing a back brace and sporting pink running shoes, took on the antediluvian, misogynist legislation.  "Populist Feminist Revolt and Heroic Filibuster Defeat Extremist Anti-Abortion Bill in Texas," was the headline on our June 26th column. Alas, Gov. Rick "Goodhair" Perry called a special session of the Texas legislature and got the "put the government into a woman's ovaries" law passed.

Davis's filibuster that ran out the legislative clock, her "pulled herself up by her bootstraps as a single mother" biography (from waitress to community college to Harvard Law School), and her grit propelled her to national prominence -- and speculation about her political next step.

Well, this week, as many of our readers know, Davis took that step in announcing that she is running for governor of Texas.   Perry won't be in the picture this time; he's stepping down to open a chain of male hair salons (sarcasm alert!).  But already the pundit handicappers are predicting that Davis will make headway, but lose because Texas is 100% Republican governed on the state level.  It hasn't had a Democratic governor since George W. Bush, with Karl Rove pulling off the dirty tricks, Bushwhacked Democratic Gov. Ann Richards in 1994.

However, a commentary by CNN digital national political reporter Peter Hamby offers 8 "contrarian" reasons why Davis might just become the next governor of Texas, and they are pretty compelling:

1. Davis knows how to win
2. Her opponent is well-funded but not well-known
3. Campaigns matter and are unpredictable at times
4. The Texas Hispanic boom
5. The Obama hi-tech, voter identification SWAT team is in town
6. A potential Tea Party spoiler might enter the race as independent
7. Suburban women in Texas are trending Democratic
8. Outside money will flow into the Davis campaign

There's are some pretty compelling points, even when Davis is facing a Republican fortress of white conservative "America's gone to Hell with all these minorities and taxpayer sucking welfare leeches" voters.

But that's only half the story. As Hamby points out, prognosticators have been trying to pin down the date when the Texas white population will be a minority do to the surging Mexican-American population, the black voters in the cities, and the native-Americans.

In short, Texas -- which used to be run by "yellow dog" Democrats -- will likely, at some point in time, demographically swing back into the Democratic column.  

Conventional wisdom says Wendy Davis, who represents Fort Worth in the Texas senate, just won't be able to breach the Republican castle walls. But this is a single woman, child in hand, who went from living in a trailer to Harvard Law School and has never lost a political race.

Stay tuned and watch Davis's running shoes, because she might just end in first place.

(Photo: Wikipedia)