Speed Reads

campaign 2014

Wendy Davis: Texas is 'really on its way' to flipping Democratic

The Daily Show is in Austin to cover the 2014 midterm elections, and on Monday night's show Jon Stewart's guest was Texas State Sen. Wendy Davis, the Democratic candidate for governor. She's down in the polls against the GOP nominee, state Attorney General Greg Abbott. After talking about abortion and voting laws, Stewart got down to brass tacks. "You're having a tough campaign — right now you guys are down a little bit," Stewart said. "How conservative a place is Texas?... You know, we've heard a lot about, 'It's flipping blue,' but it looks like it ain't even flipping, like, a cool azure."

"It's on its way — it's really on its way," Davis said. She said that in their two decades of running the state, Republicans have drawn lots of safe Republican districts and a handful of safe Democratic ones, and that has stifled any political debate.

In Part 2 of the interview, available only online, Stewart returned to the election. Referring to Davis' statement that she's running to start a statewide conversation about public priorities, Stewart asked: "Why isn't it a conversation that's happening in Texas? Or is it a conversation that has happened in Texas, and they truly have decided, 'No, I appreciate what you're saying, but this is the way we want it?'"

This election will test that question, Davis said, "but really, it hasn't been a conversation."

We aren't a part of presidential election-year politics, we haven't had a really hotly contested general-election statewide race in a very, very long time, and it creates a climate where voters are disengaged, and they're not being educated about the issues at hand. [Davis]

Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas), she noted, was elected with about 800,000 votes in a state of 26 million people. "We're really encouraged by what we see in terms of the opportunity for a statewide Democrat to actually be elected in this state eight days from now," she added. Davis didn't say governor, of course, but later, when pressed, she said, "I'm going to be governor, Jon." Well, we'll see in eight days. --Peter Weber