How Wendy Davis Can Become the Next Governor of Texas: A Mathematical Proof

Wendy Davis announces the start of her campaign for governor.    photo by Paul Moseley/Newscom
Wendy Davis announced the start of her campaign for governor on Thursday. photo by Paul Moseley/Newscom

To determine Wendy Davis’ chances to be elected the next governor of Texas, our staff did the math in October issue of D Magazine:


votes for Bill White in 2010

Bill White hit a mere 42.3 percent of the vote against Ricky Perry in 2010, setting the high watermark of recent nonpresidential Democratic performance. Sound bad? It is. But four years later, opportunities abound for a stronger candidate with a strong field operation.

Dem: 2,102,606 // GOP: 2,733,784


GOP women

Carry the battle to the suburbs. Democrats have an opening with women’s issues, with the GOP’s crony capitalism, and with its benign neglect of health issues, education, and infrastructure. Switch 5 percent of GOP votes.

Dem: 2,239,295 // GOP: 2,597,095


Hispanic voters

In 2010, 43.36 percent of registered Hispanics voted, or 1,012,000. The number has hovered in the same range since 2002 when it was 982,000. Meanwhile, Hispanic population has soared. Adding 30 percent to Hispanic vote total would add 303,600 voters, 70 percent of whom would vote Dem.

Dem: 2,451,807 // GOP: 2,688,175


new voters

In 2012, only 29 percent of under-29 Texans voted. Obama won Ohio, Pennsylvania, Virginia, and Florida by increasing youth turnout to 50 percent. There are 4,766,792 Texans 18 to 29 years old. By increasing turnout to only 40 percent and capturing 65 percent (as they did in other states), Dems take the prize.

Dem: 3,691,173 // GOP: 3,355,526


is Wendy Davis’ magic number.

Who will be elected governor of Texas in 2014? free polls 


  • Harvey Lacey

    Anita Perry is doing her part to get us a Davis Governor. The longer she sits on her lips and allows her husband to explain what she meant no matter what she said the more Texas women are going to run to vote for the gal with the whatevers it takes to be a Governor of the people and for the people.

  • Anonymous

    In a state where Romney defeated Obama 57 to 41%, I’d say any assertion that Davis can defeat any Republican primary winner is nonsense.

    • Katherine Edmiston

      more denial…it isn’t just Hispanic voters, there are a lot of groups conservatives have left behind, and a lot of people hurt by this shutdown, for which Ted Cruz will be blamed…

  • Anonymous

    This is delusional thinking. Adding 5% to turnout would be an accomplishment. Adding 10% would be miraculous. Adding 30% to the hispanic turnout would be fraud.

    • Katherine Edmiston

      wishful thinking

  • Avid Reader

    Hispanic population is very heavily weighted in favor of pro-life policies so Wendy’s abortion filibuster would probably knock a few points off that 70%.

  • Edward

    @Avid Reader – I believe that thinking is a bit of a fallacy.

    I thought that the exit polls from the last election showed that Hispanic voters were actually much more liberal toward abortion and gay marriage than previously thought.

    @ Anonymous – I’m also wondering how increasing Hispanic turnout 30% would be fraud. They have historically voted in extremely low percentages. Get the right candidate and motivations and I think they will vote. Even without registering a lot of new voters, just getting the ones who are already registered to vote might be enough.

    By “fraud” are you saying that something illegal is happening – like non-citizens voting?

    I think some of the folks in the Republican right wing/Tea Party bubble might be underestimating exactly how unhappy many voters in Texas are with the old, white, conservative, Tea Party people who have taken over – you know, the ones who watch porn on their iPads while sitting in the legislature and are constantly man-splaining “women stuff” to women.

  • Dubious Brother

    One thing the GOP has going for it is the 87,000 annual abortions that are performed in Texas (2008 stat) of which 30% are Black and 25% Hispanic. Using your rationale they would have all voted Democrat. Abortion has been legal for 40 years so that is about 1,914,000 voters over age 18 that have been eliminated. There are no stats on the gender of the aborted ones. In India and China where abortion is the main weapon on the war against women there is now a shortage of women as the 50/50 natural balance no longer exists.

  • Avid Reader

    I do not believe that thinking is a fallacy. The exit polls show exactly what was expected, vast majority of Hispanics vote Democrat. Those exit polls were for the last election, before Wendy moved into the spotlight for her abortion filibuster. Abortion will be the main item she will be known for during her run for governor (whether justifiable or not; that’s what will stick out) and it is not a stretch to think that will peel off a few percentage points of that 70%.

  • AmyS

    Your math might be right. But it ignores what brings those voters to the polls. You need to count the dollars they raise to advertise. I think there must be a mathematical construct for turning $ into voters.

  • Senorita

    Ask Wendy Davis to explain the incident that happened a few years ago around Cancun when she got drunk and lost her wallet with her senate credentials in it then blamed the “Mexicans who made her feel so unsafe” the entire time she was at this luxury property. Ask her why it took a few days and a trip to the bar for a glass of wine before she reported it to the federales. Ask her why Jay Deal in her office called the hotel company to complain and ask them to “compensate the senator for her inconvenience.” She is no different from any other power-hungry narcissistic politician. What a fake. PS – Rick Perry sucks too.

  • Edward

    I see your point and would have to agree. It will be interesting to see how many people can see the big picture of women’s healthcare overall, or only focus on abortion.

    It will be interesting to see if suburban megachurch women will continue to vote Republican after the Texas GOP has continued to decimate public education, women’s healthcare, etc.

  • jfpo

    Most white, suburban women are as conservative as their white husbands. This demographic won’t turn.

    • Katherine Edmiston

      a lot of those women don’t tell their husbands what they do in the voting booth…

  • Avid Reader

    Of course there is a bigger picture; but they will hammer her on the 20+ week late-term abortion as there is an exceptionally large percentage of the population (left/right) that are against that item. You are looking for the wrong demographic to be put off by what you call “decimate[ing] public education, women’s healthcare, etc.” as the suburban megachurch women are probably one of the most stable bases of conservatives.

  • The Sane Middle

    Am hoping she does win, but there are so many obstacles to jump over, as many posters have already stated.
    While Wendy was defending a woman’s right to control her reproduction, this translates into the insane name calling by the radical right wing. In current radio spots for other Republicans running in other elections, the “scary” buzzwords are flying, i.e. liberal, Washington D.C. etc. One can only infer when Wendy runs, those words will morph into the oft-used ab- barbie, baby killer, etc. Reminds me of those faux ads from The Campaign.
    Then, there’s getting all the voters out there to actually vote. And you gotta hand it to the Republicans for realizing that and their gerrymandering the entire state. I’ve met so many moderates of both parties here, but bc of the lunatic fringe, they lurk in the shadows in fear of being labeled socialist/communist. Nuts.
    What I’ve learned is to be very careful for whom you vote. Too many people do a straight party ticket and then get the likes of people who think rape kits “clean a woman out.” Sadly this 5% are those who still approve congress.
    The insane are now running the asylum.

  • Tsoke Adjavon

    What about the Black Voters? Yes Black Texans represent 11.5% of the population and the most part of the Democratic Party. So, if we are not motivated to vote then Wendy Davis will not win

    • AmyS

      And the majority of black voters? Women. I think they’ll find very compelling reasons to vote this next election, black or white.

  • Katherine Edmiston

    Open Letter to Texas Conservatives: With all due respect, you are your own worst enemy. I mean, even with your characteristic denial and arrogance, surely you can’t believe that you will be on top forever? Look at what is happening in Washington. YOU OWN THAT. Doesn’t matter what you think about it, polls don’t lie, unless they are conservative polls. When I was a young woman, Texas was a part of the modern era. Health care access was expansive, participation in the political system was extensive, and there were a heck of a lot more people who had a chance for an education and had access to opportunity. Texas was better when I was twenty than it is today thanks to greed and social conservatism. You can’t drag Texas back an entire century and expect to keep it there, all for the enrichment of the few. You’d better wake up, the times they are a changin’. And as for recent Republican hegemony in some Red States- yes, progressive people and this nation have paid a price for the tremendous historical event that the President’s election represents. For every step forward, there are always those who, for whatever reason, because they are threatened, react. But the reaction has been so extreme, and so negative, that America will repudiate it. America is not based on extremism, nor hatred, nor racism. America is based on the coming together of people of different beliefs and backgrounds, races, creeds, and colors, for the GREATER GOOD FOR ALL. That is America, and that is Texas. Better get ready.

  • Katherine Edmiston

    you underestimate the sophistication of Texas voters, and you also underestimate the degree to which conservatism has become extreme. That is not Texas’ way, and it will not prevail.

  • Katherine Edmiston

    I’d like to remind the naysayers and the deniers of election night 2012. You think just because Texas is a “red state” that it cannot elect a Democrat to statewide office? That is where you are wrong. Texas is only dominated by the GOP because people don’t vote. In actual fact, Texas ought to be a Blue State. Now the voters have a reason to vote. For another thing, Texas voters are INDEPENDENT. Only the few “true believers” and fundamentalists will tow the party line no matter what. Finally, the GOP itself has been destroyed by the Tea Party. If Medina runs as an Independent, it will make our job all the easier. This is the cost of extremism, and everyone knows except the perpetrators themselves, who are lost in delusions of glory, that the Tea Party and social conservatives have carried this Taliban stuff WAY TOO FAR. But why waste my breath? You’ll see.

  • Avid Reader

    I disagree.

  • Avid Reader

    wishful thinking

  • James

    After the primary results where she lost her own primary in the Hispanic populated Rio Grande Valley, to a candidate most people didn’t know even existed, kind hurts your math. Seemingly she is not popular with Hispanics at least. Also, taking the “woman” message to the suburbs on the back of leaving her biological kids with the step father is not going to be the silver bullet you are anticipating.

  • seriouslylegit

    Are you not understanding that about 90% of Americans do not want the abortion laws changed?

  • tad

    even most of those who seek change don’t want politicians with no moral values.

  • tad

    Ted Cruz tried to get Obama to compromise.