Wendy Davis, the Ned Lamont of 2014
By Jim Geraghty
September 27, 2013 10:56 AM
Wendy Davis, the Texas Democratic state legislator who engaged in a filibuster to preserve late-term abortions, is reportedly running for governor.
Republicans should be elated at this development. The Cook Partisan Voting Index scores Texas as R+10, and Davis’s bid will inevitably be defined by her trademark stance. A University of Texas poll found 62 percent said they would support “prohibiting abortions after 20 weeks based on the argument that a fetus can feel pain at that point,” and that same percentage said they support “prohibiting abortions after 20 weeks.”
Yet her status as a heroine to the pro-late-term-abortion Democratic-party grassroots will ensure that she will get a small fortune in donations, money that could otherwise have been spent in more competitive races. She’ll also probably get a lot of national press coverage.
She could be this cycle’s Ned Lamont — the liberal anti-war challenger to Senator Joe Lieberman in Connecticut in 2006. Lamont was a hero to the anti-war Democratic grassroots — Markos Moulitsas appeared in a commercial for him.
Markos Moulitsas, peering in the window of Ned Lamont’s house in one of the odder ads of the 2006 cycle.
Lamont won the Democratic primary . . . only to lose to Lieberman, running as an independent, in November. A loud but small minority of the electorate at large fell in love with him, only to find that the voters as a whole didn’t agree.
Of course, Ned Lamont spent $16 million of his own fortune on that Senate bid, and collected about $3 million from donations. Davis will require a lot more help from the DGA and Democratic 527s.
Lamont ran for governor a few years later and lost in the Democratic primary; he is currently teaching at Central Connecticut State University.