Your “one week until Election Day” roundup of news:
(Hat tip: Moe Lane.)
Your “one week until Election Day” roundup of news:
(Hat tip: Moe Lane.)
You’ve really got to hand it to the Wendy Davis campaign. Every time you think they’ve sunk as low as they possibly can, they break out the heavy construction equipment and start digging.
Now the campaign who asked if the guy in a wheelchair hated the disabled is wondering whether the guy married to a Mexican-American would ban interracial marriage.
The reviews are in, and they’re not pretty:
When I was in TX, it was hard to miss billboards showing Abbott with his Mex-Am wife. Davis’s “interracial marriage ban” attack is crazy.
— daveweigel (@daveweigel) October 20, 2014
Then of course there’s the whole attacking Abbott over dildos issue. Look, from a libertarian viewpoint I happen to agree that the state’s rarely-enforced sex toy ban is pointless in the Internet age. However: 1.) Davis still doesn’t seem to understand what an Attorney General’s job is, and 2.) Everyone who would vote for Wendy Davis over dildos was already voting for her, so talking about it wins her no additional votes, and probably loses her a few among older voters.
I’m sure there have been more incompetent campaigns than Davis’, but I’m wracking my brain trying to think of one so high-profile and well-funded that crashed and burned so spectacularly, or that managed to alienate so many people in such a short period of time with such sleazy and counterproductive tactics.
Its almost as if Democrats know her campaign is doomed, and have encouraged this offensive incompetence as a means of distracting attention from their deeply flawed senate race candidates in other states.
“I suspect her candidacy is an elaborate prank pulled on the people of Texas, and she is actually a middle-aged actress from southern California hired by Funny or Die.” [Disagree: There's precious little evidence the Funny or Die people are capable of coming up with something this funny.]
Maybe she has a secret bet with a billionaire (ala Brewster’s Millions) that she can run a campaign so unbelievably sleazy and incompetent that she can get The Nation to endorse Greg Abbott. Or maybe she’s a Karl Rove plant.
— BattleSwarm (@BattleSwarmBlog) October 22, 2014
(Would have had this up yesterday, but too much news puffing up…)
Once again, the Wendy Davis campaign is the gift that keeps giving to conservative pundits. It’s all over but the voting at this point, but Davis’ thrashing, flailing campaign is so ham-handed and tone-deaf that she keeps staying in the news for all the wrong reasons.
First came this amazingly stupid ad:
Reaction was swift and pretty much universally negative.
Fox: “Absolute desperation…catastrophic.”
Even ultra-lefty Mother Jones was appalled: “Wendy Davis just released an ad attacking Greg Abbott, her opponent for governor in Texas, which is, to be blunt, bullshit. It’s offensive and nasty and it shouldn’t exist. She’s basically calling Abbott a cripple.”
MSNBC? “A huge blunder.” “Every Democrat I met down there was appalled.” “She’s gonna get creamed.”
Indeed, the ad is so ill-considered and offensive that it may derail what I thought would be her next gig: a position at MSNBC.
As Hot Air noted: “Perhaps Wendy Davis isn’t familiar with what an Attorney General does.”
Also note that this ad didn’t come from an outside group or SuperPAC, this came from the Davis campaign itself. Her fingerprints are all over it and she has no deniability.
So what did Davis do after this nigh-on universal condemnation? She doubled down on stupid.
"I love cripples! Look at all these fucking cripples! Goddamit I'm a people person!" pic.twitter.com/XCLA5xPmLX
— David Burge (@iowahawkblog) October 13, 2014
And this happened:
— L (@OrwellForks) October 13, 2014
And Abbott? He’s just shrugging over the whole thing, and why shouldn’t he? Never interrupt your opponent when they’re in the process of committing suicide. Also note that he eschewed the frequent liberal tactic of calling a press conference to talk about how offended he is. When you’re a front-runner with a comfortable lead and a big money advantage, you don’t need such cheap theatrics.
Here’s your Friday LinkSwarm of semi-random linkage goodness:
The inequality police are worried that we are living in a new Gilded Age. We should be so lucky: Between 1880 and 1890, the number of employed Americans increased by more than 13 percent, and wages increased by almost 50 percent. I am going to go out on a limb and predict that the Barack Obama years will not match that record; the share of employed Americans is lower today than it was when he took office, and household income is down. Grover Cleveland is looking like a genius in comparison.
The Abbot campaign sent around this two minute exchange from the debate as being Davis’ most cringe-worthy performance:
The Houston Chronicle says that Abbott is right on the facts in that exchange:
Shot: Davis said “the only thing right now coming between our children and appropriate funding of their schools is (Abbott).”
Fact: It’s a little more complicated than that. This charge came in the lead-up to her sole question of her Republican opponent, which was whether he would drop the state’s appeal of a judge’s ruling that Texas’ school finance scheme is unconstitutional. Abbott is defending the law passed by the Legislature – as is the job of the attorney general. So while Abbott may get pinned with continuing to legally vouch for the state’s $5.4 billion in cuts to Texas public schools in 2011, he retorted that it was the Legislature that stood between the children and appropriate funding. Abbott also correctly pointed out that the Legislature passed a law last session that limited the attorney general’s ability to settle cases like the one over school finance.
Even a friendly press is saying that Davis “fails to land blows on Republican rival.”
Dallas Morning News: Davis “failed to rattle a poised Greg Abbott…At one point he asked Davis if she were still glad she had voted for the president, whose deep unpopularity in the state is a headache for Democrats. Davis laughed at the question but didn’t answer it.”
Well, if Wendy Davis was hoping the Rio Grande Valley debate would help her catch up to Greg Abbott, she probably should have worked to have a voice other than the pre-programmed monotone she used. She also loses points for the lack of discipline at having answers that extended beyond her allotted time (which I commend the debate hosts for strictly enforcing), and then continuing to talk rudely over their attempts to shut her off.
Abbott won by a comfortable margin. Davis wins points for actually knowing the Mexican Water Treaty of 1944, but loses even more points for flat out lying about Republicans wanting to repeal the Voting Rights Act of 1964, as opposed to ending the preclearence requirements.
I doubt terribly many minds were changed by the debate, except possibly those of donors who previously thought Davis might be worth giving more money to…
Reporting on the Wendy Davis campaign at this point is like reporting on the Titanic 80% of the way into the sinking (“And there goes the second smokestack under the waves!”). But someone has to write a first draft of those epic failures for the historical record, so let’s press on…
Right now polls show Greg Abbott up a comfortable 18 points over Davis, 54% to 36%.
It’s gotten so bad that the Davis campaign “leaked” one of those ridiculous, can’t remotely trust them “internal polls” that shows her a mere 8 points behind Abbott, 38% to his 46%. You know it’s bad when you can’t even pretend to be winning in your own fantasy land poll.
Also, the Abbott campaign filed an ethics complaint against the Davis campaign for using her campaign funds to attend a book signing in New York City. (I wonder if her New York City signing had the same strict conditions as her Austin signing.) Since Davis did have one fundraising event on the trip, I doubt the complaint will succeed legally, but it does further the Abbott campaign’s picture of Davis as a woman who has more supporters in New York and California than in Texas.
The big question at this point is: What’s the floor for how poorly Wendy Davis can do in the general election? I think she can drop below the 39.96% Tony Sanchez garnered in 2002. I don’t see her eclipsing the pitiful low-mark of Garry Mauro’s 31.18% in 1998, much less Chris Bell’s 29.79% in the 4-way Perry-Bell-Strayhorn-Friedman race in 2006. Davis has garnered a lot more fawning media attention than Sanchez ever got, and didn’t have the bruising primary fight Sanchez had against Dan Morales, much less one where her opponent ended up endorsing the Republican nominee, as Morales did. On the other hand, Davis doesn’t have $60 million of her own money to spend on her campaign the way Sanchez did.
It’s not been a good month for people trying to pretend the Wendy Davis campaign is actually capable of winning the Governor’s mansion.
First, during a time when Davis desperately needs media attention to have any hope of closing the gap with Republican opponent Attorney General Greg Abbott, the Rick Perry indictment is sucking up all the media oxygen. “It’s very good for Greg Abbott because he’s up by 12-13-14 points on Wendy Davis and he has two to three times as much money as she does to close out this race in the final weeks.”
Next comes word that Wendy Davis is actually polling 10 points behind where Bill White was at this time four years ago. And Bill White, despite running a markedly more competent and professional campaign than Davis has thus far, got slaughtered.
Then it was revealed that Davis was trying to hide her 2013 tax returns, giving partial copies to the media “with the stipulation that the document couldn’t be shared with anyone or published in full.” A look at those returns shows why. Her 2013 tax return itself shows that out of $249,754 in gross income, Wendy Davis actually paid Uncle Sam a grand total of $788 in withholding in 2013. That left her just a wee, tiny bit short of the amount she she estimated had to pay. Namely, $60,000 short. But even that amount (which is what she sent in with her extension form) turned out to be less than the $70,252 she actually owed, which is why she paid $1,246 in tax penalties.
Evidently, when you pull Davis’ string, she says “Math is hard!” in addition to “Abortion is awesome!”
Finally, Davis’ laughable attack ad attempt to link Abbott to problems at the troubled Cancer Prevention Research Institute of Texas gets slammed by MSM fact checkers. In fact, Jerald Combs, the only person indicted in the now-closed CPRIT investigation, has not donated anything to Abbott.
In a state as deep red as Texas, Democrats were always going to need a string, spotless candidate running a flawless campaign to have any hope of beating Abbott. Davis isn’t, and she hasn’t.