AUSTIN, TX, April 16, 2014 (LifeSiteNews.com) – A new survey by a liberal polling firm is bad news for Wendy Davis, the Democratic would-be governor of Texas who rose to national prominence after filibustering a bill to restrict abortions in the state.
Although Davis promotes herself proudly as a candidate who cares about “women’s issues” – a euphemism for legalized abortion-on-demand, or as the Davis team describes it, “expanding access to women’s health care” – it seems women in Texas aren’t interested in what she’s selling. According to Public Policy Polling, 46 percent of Texas women view Davis “unfavorably,” and she trails behind Republican competitor Greg Abbott by nearly ten points among women, with 11 percent of women still undecided.
“Women get exhausted with women candidates who say they are pro-woman and then run on issues that real women don’t say are most important to them,” said Republican pollster Kellyanne Conway in an interview with The Daily Caller. Conway argued that Davis’ unpopularity within her own sex is a sign that the Democrats’ “war on women” messaging has failed.
Public Policy Polling president Dean Debnam blamed Davis’ poor showing partially on the popularity of pro-life Republican Gov. Rick Perry. “Rick Perry has a positive approval rating, with 48 percent of voters approving of him to 44 percent who disapprove,” Debman said. “Perry’s net approval has improved 18 points from where it was two years ago,” he added.
During those two years, Perry has pushed for the passage of some of the most pro-life legislation in the nation, including the bill that launched Davis to fame.
Davis became a national hero to abortion advocates after filibustering Perry’s proposal to ban abortions after 20 weeks, tighten safety restrictions at abortion facilities to match those of other surgical centers, and mandate that medical abortions follow the FDA-approved method for administering RU-486. But Davis’ filibuster was only a temporary setback for the Gov. Perry, who immediately called another special session to ensure the bill’s passage.
Another bold Perry move was to refuse federal dollars for Texas’ Medicaid program so that the state could defund Planned Parenthood without interference from the pro-abortion Obama administration. The governor recently accepted a Lifetime Achievement Award from Texas Right to Life for his efforts to curtail abortion in the state, and told the audience at the awards ceremony he believes pro-life activists can build a “world without abortion.”
The seeming popularity of Perry’s pro-life views appear to have had an impact on the way Davis presents herself. In a matter of months, the Democrat has gone from calling abortion “sacred ground” and a guarantor of “liberty, the freedom to choose what your future will hold,” to calling herself “pro-life” and keeping her campaign website and interviews free of any mention of abortion.
“Ms. Davis is out of touch with the majority of women,” Maureen Ferguson, senior policy adviser with The Catholic Association told LifeSiteNews shortly after Davis’ filibuster last year. She pointed to a Washington Post-ABC poll showing that 60 percent of women support a 20-week ban on abortion like the one she filibustered as evidence that Davis’s outspokenness on the abortion issue may have actually harmed her standing among women.