© 2020 Texas Public Radio
Real. Reliable. Texas Public Radio.
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
Available On Air Stations

Davis Hopes For Boost From Nationwide Gubernatorial Push By Democrats

Ryan Loyd
TPR News
Wendy Davis in Rackspace at a San Antonio campaign stop.

Republicans have been accused of waging a "war on women," but numbers tell a different story: Republicans have elected four seated women governors in recent years, while Democrats have elected one. 

Democratic leaders backed by national women’s groups are trying to turn that around with the election of six high-profile gubernatorial candidates in 2014, one of those being state Sen. Wendy Davis, D-Fort Worth. 

Professor Jim Henson, who runs the University of Texas at Austin’s Texas Politics Project, said just mentioning that the party is trying to get more women elected helps candidates like Davis.

"It helps give Wendy Davis another round of possible media coverage, that in terms helps her raise money, that in turn helps her go back to her home state and get her name out there and also appeal to women who we know is more if not the only target the Democrats are working on for 2014," Henson said.

Henson said this type of nationwide push gives Davis a bigger profile on the national stage.

"That then plays into people’s perception that she has a shot at this and that she’s a serious candidate and that’s an advantage that Democrats have had a hard time to achieve in the last couple of cycles," Henson said.

Henson said  none of the six female Democratic candidates campaigning to be their state’s governor is a sure bet.

In early November, Davis was 15 points behind her likely opponent, Republican Attorney General Greg Abbott, and fell even further behind in campaign fundraising. But Henson said this national effort to get more Democratic women elected could help Davis collect more campaign funds by showing fundraisers she has a shot at winning.

Henson said most of the Democratic women running will have similar platforms that are designed to attract female voters -- emphasizing funding education, women’s health issues and one that is not often thought of as a women’s issue but rates high with female voters, the economy, especially as it pertains to reducing unemployment numbers and creating jobs.