Wendy Davis not only lost her bid for the Texas governor's mansion in a landslide, but her state senate seat was captured by a pro-life, Tea Party activist.
The national media made Davis an overnight political star in the summer of 2013 when she conducted an 11-hour filibuster of a bill in the legislature that would have banned abortion after 20 weeks. Based at least in part on that exposure, she subsequently won the Democrat nomination to run for governor. The bill in question subsequently was voted into law in a special legislative session, however.
On Tuesday, conservative Republican Konni Burton won in state senate District 10, the seat vacated by Davis, by 52 percent to 45 percent over Democrat Libby Willis in a contest on which both parties spent big bucks.
Burton finished first in the March 4 GOP primary with less than 50 percent vote. She went on to win the May 27 runoff, thereby clinching the Republican nomination for the general election.
In her election night speech, Burton declared, "It's hard to believe that over 20 months ago I started having conversations with conservatives across Tarrant County about the need for someone to challenge Wendy Davis. We were all sick and tired of being represented by a liberal in Austin who didn't reflect the conservative values of District 10. Tonight, our neighbors have spoken. Nationally, the American people have rejected the president's agenda for our nation. In Texas, the people have sent the Democrats packing, and in Tarrant County, we replaced one of the most radical liberals in Texas with a conservative voice."
"I'm very excited. For me, to take a seat from a polar opposite to myself, politically speaking, is a pretty phenomenal feat... It's about limited government, fiscal responsibility, and using taxpayers' money wisely. Good things for the state of Texas will come from this," Burton told the Fort Worth Star-Telegram.
In the high-profile race for governor, Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott, a Republican, defeated Davis by 20 points in Tuesday's election. Republicans continue their lock on all statewide constitutional offices, decisively turning back an attempt by a liberal, Obama-aligned organization called Battleground Texas to switch the state from red to blue.
Long-time incumbent Rick Perry previously decided against running for reelection but may have his eye on the presidency.
According to an analysis of the failed Wendy Davis campaign by Politico, "[t]he state senator briefly offered Democrats hope that they could energize Hispanics, young people, women, and other minorities and could put the deep-red Lone Star State into play. But once Davis entered the race, her campaign was beset by a series of missteps, and Abbott maintained a wide lead throughout the contest."
Those missteps included running an offensive ad that highlighted the fact that Greg Abbott is wheelchair-bound after a horrible accident in 1984. She also seemingly attempted to play the race card against Abbott, who as it happens is married to a Latina. Questions also emerged about the Davis personal narrative as a struggling single mom when it was revealed that she apparently dumped her husband after he finished paying off her student loans. He reportedly also got parental custody of their two kids while she pursued her career ambitions.
Reacting to the Davis loss, HotAir.com opined that "Too many [Democrat] strategists fall into the trap of treating demographic groups of people as if they were monolithic entries in pigeonholes which can be placed on a war room map and shoved back and forth."
With that in mind, "war on women" rhetoric also apparently failed for Wendy Davis. In his victory, AG Abbott received 54 percent of the women's vote, including a 25-point margin with married women. He also won 44 percent of the Hispanic vote, according to the New York Times.
[Image credit: Kevin Sutherland]