In a June University of Texas/Texas Tribune Poll, 38.65 percent of moderates, 38.36 percent of suburbanites, and 29.31 percent of soft Republicans agreed with the position that abortion should be a legal and personal choice. Those are minority opinions, to be sure, but Democrats haven’t scored that high in the suburbs since Ann Richards was governor. Add to their numbers the suburban Texas women who support exceptions for rape and incest — and who might think twice about electing a governor who didn’t — and Davis could have an opening.Stanford argues that Davis' near-certain opponent, Attorney General Greg Abbott, is "far out of the mainstream" because when Abbott was questioned about abortion to save the life of the mother, he responded, "What both the medical community needs to do, and the pro-life community supports, is doing everything we can to protect the life of the mother." Stanford calls that "obfuscating" and "gobbledygook." I guess people hear what they want to hear.
Stanford concludes: "If Davis can frame Abbott’s extreme position as restricting abortion access, then Gov. Wendy Davis might not be such a crazy idea after all." The problem with that theory isn't just that Abbott is less extreme than Stanford wants to believe. It's also that Davis actually is extreme. The bill that Davis filibustered was not a bill that would have created barriers to contraception, or banned abortions to save the mother's life. The bill, which is now an enacted law, does two things: it bans abortions after 20 weeks, and it holds abortion facilities to high safety standards.
It's one thing to be the pro-choice candidate; it's quite another to be the pro-late-term-abortions-and-unsafe-clinics candidate. Abbott is going to have a field day. And voters aren't going to forget what the content of the law is, as much as Davis might want them to, because pro-abortion groups recently sued over the clinic safety provisions. That means that the law will be tied up in court, making news at each step of the proceedings.
Then there's the wild card: Douglas Karpen. Karpen is a Texas late-term abortionist who is accused by former employees of killing babies outside of the womb. An investigation is ongoing. If the results of that investigation are released during the gubernatorial campaign, Davis will have a lot of explaining to do. ("Obfuscating" and "gobbledygook" will certainly be appropriate words then!)
The real take-away from Stanford's piece is that abortion advocates are desperate to believe that their cause will triumph, despite all evidence to the contrary. That's great news for protectors of human life.