Democrats Will See Organizing Boost, but Not Immediate Electoral Wins, After Texas Senate Abortion Showdown
For the state’s two political parties, the donnybrook over abortion in Texas could have very different consequences.
Democrats believe the fiery showdown in the Senate could energize voters, boost fundraising and finally give a beleaguered party that hasn’t won a statewide election in 20 years a hand toward rebuilding.
Among some Republicans, there’s fear the partisan claim of a GOP “war against women” could alienate a constituency that the party has had trouble attracting, though few expect consequences in the next round of elections, in 2014.
The politician with the most to be concerned about is probably Republican Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst, the presiding officer who saw the Senate virtually shut down by protesting crowds Tuesday. He suffered a serious blow with a shaky performance during a Democratic filibuster hailed by women’s groups and abortion rights advocates, and streamed live on national websites.
Dewhurst, who lost to tea party challenger Ted Cruz in the 2012 Senate race, pressed the abortion bill to win over far-right voters who abandoned him last year. He faces conservative challengers who want to unseat him in March’s Republican primary, including Land Commissioner Jerry Patterson and Agriculture Commissioner Todd Staples.