Poll suggests filibuster did little for Sen. Wendy Davis

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by JASON WHITELY

Bio | Email | Follow: @jasonwhitely

WFAA

Posted on July 5, 2013 at 5:11 PM

Updated Friday, Jul 5 at 5:20 PM

DALLAS –– Two weeks after Sen. Wendy Davis was catapulted to political rockstar status, a poll suggests her new found fame might not mean much if she considers a run for governor like many have urged her to do.

In a survey of 500 Texas voters, Public Policy Polling reported that Gov. Rick Perry, if he chooses to seek a fourth term, would still beat Davis by 14 points, receiving 55 percent of the vote compared to her 39 percent in a hypothetical matchup.

"Wendy Davis made a strong first impression on Texas voters last week," said Dean Debnam, President of Public Policy Polling. "But the chances that the state turns blue in 2014 still look pretty slim."

In fact, San Antonio Mayor Julian Castro would come in first among Democrats but still can't beat Perry, PPP found. Former Houston Mayor Bill White, who lost to Perry in the last general election, is the second most popular Democrat. Davis was third favorite and just slightly ahead of current Houston mayor Annise Parker.

But Davis did double her name identification statewide from 34 percent to 68 percent. In addition, PPP said the Fort Worth Democrat is now the best-liked figure the firm tested statewide, and the third-best known after Rick Perry and Ted Cruz.

The PPP poll proves Davis and Democrats still have an uphill battle to attract voters and donors.

But on a taping of Inside Texas Politics to air Sunday at 9:05 a.m. on WFAA-TV, Fort Worth Star-Telegram columnist Bud Kennedy said Davis might seek a lower statewide office like Attorney General, providing Perry does not seek re-election and current A.G. Greg Abbott enters the gubernatorial race.

"This is such a terrible election for a Democrat to be on a statewide ballot," Kennedy said. "The only thinking with Attorney General is that's an open seat. Maybe a Democrat has more of a chance to win there than go up against someone at the top of the ticket."

But PPP said the an election between Abbott and Davis for the governor's office would be closer. Still, he would beat her 48 percent to 40 percent in a hypothetical match up.

Regardless, Democrats still have the buzz and many hope the moment they recently witnessed with Wendy Davis on the Senate floor is just the beginning for her.

 

E-mail: jwhitely@wfaa.com

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