Senator Wendy Davis stood beneath the dome for 11 hours in Mizuno sneakers (and, quite possibly, adult diapers) filibustering abortion legislation that could have shuttered all but a handful of providers. At one point nearly 200,000 tuned into watch, until three rather sketchy points of order brought brought her marathon testimony to a premature close.
In the process, she became progressive's brightest hope against patriarchy in deep-red state legislatures. In the week since her filibuster, her name recognition in this state has doubled. But that doesn't mean she's ready for a head-to-head against Governor Rick Perry in 2014.
According to a poll from Public Policy Polling, about half of those polled disapproved of Perry's job performance. Against a generic, "someone else" challenger, he loses 41 to 47 percent. Meanwhile, Davis is largely liked, 39 to 29 percent. Yet as of this poll, she still can't come close to toppling him, which says more about the prospects of any Democrat running for statewide office than it does about Davis.
Perry said Tuesday that he planned to announce "exciting future plans" in San Antonio on Monday. If by plans Perry means he's seeking another term, he should heed the results of this poll. Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott has spent much of the last several years burnishing his Republican credentials by picking fights with the feds in court. If he ends up challenging Perry in the GOP primary, it won't be any cakewalk for the governor. The poll has Perry leading Abbott by a paltry 3 percent.
Statewide, Texas may not be in danger of going blue in 2014, but the days when Perry waltzes to re-election may be over.
For more on the poll's methodology, check the bottom of the first page here.