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Mobilizing Latino Vote Could Be Tough For Davis Campaign

Chris Eudaily | Texas Public Radio

In order for Wendy Davis to win the governor's office in 2014, one of the keys for her campaign will be mobilizing the Latino vote, which could be hard to do.

SMU Political Science Professor Mathew Wilson said one of the biggest challenges for Davis in the race for governor is that the 2014 election is not a presidential election year, meaning turnout will be low in a group of voters with an already low turnout at the ballot box.

"That will be the real challenge because I don’t think the state is at a point where a Democrat could win without an extraordinary and unprecedented minority voter mobilization," Wilson said.

One of Davis’ first on-the-road events is today in San Antonio, which will feature a walk-through of the Rackspace facility with Mayor Julián Castro.

Wilson said he does expect Davis to win a majority of Latino voters, but how much of that percentage will be paramount.

"It’s one thing to win 80 percent, it’s quite a different thing politically to win 60 percent," Wilson said. "And the question is: Where in between those two extremes is Davis is likely to fall? And because Abbott is just not going to just concede that terrain. He’ll fight, and not with expectation that he will win the Latino vote, but he doesn't need to, he just needs to not get clobbered."

There has been little to no mention of Davis' abortion rights crusade early on and Wilson said she will instead need to champion education and healthcare in order to reach the Latino voter since the abortion issue does not resonate in this voting group.