Texas Democrats worse for wear after abortion fight

Dan Balz:
The politically charged battle over whether to restrict abortions in Texas ended late Friday when the state Senate passed legislation and sent it on to Gov. Rick Perry (R) for his signature. In the end, the fight underscored the challenges Democrats face as they look to break the Republicans’ grip on the state.

Democrats haven’t had a moment like this in Texas for years. The abortion clash provided a sudden jolt of energy to a beleaguered state party and created a new star in Democratic state Sen. Wendy Davis, whose 11-hour filibuster helped block the abortion bill last month and forced Perry to call another special session to deal with it again.

All that led to a predictable conclusion: victory for abortion opponents. Amid noisy demonstrations in and around the state capitol in Austin by people on both sides, the bill was approved by wide margins on largely party-line votes in both the House and the Senate.

Perry and Republican lawmakers simply ground down the Democratic opposition, as they have been doing in state elections for most of the past two decades.

Democrats look at the changing demographics of Texas — a growing Hispanic population and an aging white Anglo population — and see an inevitable comeback. But the Democrats haven’t elected anyone to statewide office since the 1990s, and the prospects for doing so in 2014 are bleak, even though there is likely to be a wholesale turnover in those offices in next year’s election.

Democrats may have demographic forces on their side, but for now they lack many of the core components of successful campaigns. They are short of money, woefully short of candidates for the available statewide offices and still looking for a way to persuade a conservative electorate to start considering them again.

For Davis, all that makes for a discouraging stew. She galvanized Democrats in Texas and nationally with her filibuster and now is coming under great pressure to run for governor next year. Were Texas anything close to a competitive state, it would be an easy decision; given its current makeup, it is anything but.

Davis, who would have to sacrifice her Senate seat for an uphill challenge in the governor’s race, remains noncommittal in her public comments.
Closer to the ground here in Texas, I just don't see the Democrats making much headway.  Their main problem is they are either liberal or they are too close to the national party to recognize how toxic liberalism is in Texas.  We can see from experience that it does not work and makes people poorer.  Why would anyone in Texas want to make the state like California, Illinois and New York.  That is seen as nuts by most Texas voters and Wendy being windy about abortion does not change that at all.


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