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Wendy Davis: Yes, She Can

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Source: The Nation

State Sen. Wendy Davis, D-Ft. Worth, waves to the gallery late in the evening during her filibuster of abortion bills that descended into chaos as political drama unfolded at the Texas Capitol in the last hour of the 83rd Texas legislature's first called special session. (Photo by Bob Daemmrich/Corbis)
Texas State Sen. Wendy Davis, D-Ft. Worth, waves to the gallery late in the evening during her filibuster of abortion bills that descended into chaos as political drama unfolded at the Texas Capitol in the last hour of the 83rd Texas legislature's first called special session. (Photo by Bob Daemmrich/Corbis)

Yes, Wendy Davis is making an uphill run for governor of Texas.

She's a progressive, pro-choice woman with a dramatic personal story, who made her name fighting the powers that be. As such, she does not fit the currently accepted image of a winning statewide candidate in a place where, as Molly Ivins noted, there has been a tendency to elect "good ol' boy" governors.

But Davis has some history on her side.

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And that history counters the narrative of those who would write her off.

If Davis gets Texas voters excited, if she gets them to engage -- and re-engage -- her candidacy could change the politics of the Lone Star State. A win would be transformational. A strong showing would be transitional.

The key to the calculus is the excitement factor. Can the woman who this spring excited tens of thousands of Texans enough to get them to come to the state capitol to back her filibuster of an assault on reproductive rights now excite hundreds of thousands who don't usually cast ballots in off-year elections to come vote?

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John Nichols, a pioneering political blogger, has written the Online Beat since 1999. His posts have been circulated internationally, quoted in numerous books and mentioned in debates on the floor of Congress.

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