Sometimes political punditry is easy, all you have to do is follow the money, just look at whom the national organizations are supporting. In the case of Texas Democrat Wendy Davis’ run for governor it seems as if the media coverage is a lot bigger than her chance of victory. The chairman of the Democratic Governors Association didn’t include her state in a list of top targets in 2014.
The DGA Chairman Vermont Gov. Peter Shumlin listed these states as his top tier targets: Maine, Pennsylvania, and Florida. Second tier: Ohio, Michigan, and Wisconsin. He listed these as his secondary targets: South Carolina, Georgia, Kansas, Arizona. Notably absent was one of the supposed marquee races of 2014, media darling Democrat Wendy Davis.
Shumlin sent an unmistakable signal that the folks with the cash had better places to invest its money:
“We’re hopeful in Texas but we all understand that Democrats haven’t won Texas in a long time,” DGA Chairman and Vermont Gov. Peter Shumlin told reporters Tuesday at the Third Way think tank. He added, “We hope this will be our year.”
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Mr. Shumlin singled out Paul LePage in Maine, Rick Scott in Florida and Tom Corbett in Pennsylvania as the most vulnerable Republican incumbents. In the second tier are a trio of Midwestern governors who also represent states won by President Barack Obama – Scott Walker in Wisconsin, John Kasich in Ohio and Rick Snyder in Michigan.
Mr. Shumlin called Mr. Walker’s leading challenger, Mary Burke, an “extraordinary candidate,” and said, “We believe we’ve got a great shot there.”
According to Gov. Shumlin the Democratic party has a real opportunity to pick up Governor seats in 2014, believing that the voters will go for the same tried and true talking points.
“This is the referendum on the tea party governors that got elected four years ago,” Mr. Shumlin said. “We’re on offense because these Republican governors have uniformly implemented policies that have rewarded the top 1 percent while they have balanced budgets and tax cuts for the rich by slashing education in their states across the board and really sticking it to the middle class.”
People vote on “meat and potato” issues, and the economy of most of those states the Democrats are targeting have significantly improved during their tenures. The fact that the Democratic Governors Association is targeting those races rather than the open Texas seat says a lot about what party insiders think about Wendy Davis’ chance of victory, which is seemingly much less than the media suggests.
UPDATE: Responding to Gov. Shumlin’s assessment Davis campaign manager Karin Johanson said in a statement:
The uninformed opinions of a Washington, DC desk jockey who’s never
stepped foot in Texas couldn’t be less relevant to what’s actually
happening on the ground.