Republican presidential candidate says some people will be surprised who really thinks abortion is a losing campaign issue: Democrats. Cruz recently pointed out how abortion was a horrendous political issue for Democrats in Texas — the second largest state in the country — because the Democrats’ position of supporting late-term abortions turned off a large portion of Hispanics voters who are pro-life.
Asked during a question-and-answer session with voters about how Republicans could run effectively on social issues in states beyond Iowa, home to the first nominating contest, Cruz insisted the GOP has nothing to be ashamed of. On abortion, for example, he argued Democrats, including presidential frontrunner Hillary Clinton, are out of sync with the overwhelming majority of voters.
“You know who doesn’t think abortion is a winning issue for Democrats? Democrats,” Cruz said. “Name the last presidential election in which Democrats made front and center their unmitigated enthusiastic support for abortion on demand.”
As exhibit A, Cruz cited the Democratic primary in the Texas governor’s race two years back. Former state Sen. Wendy Davis of Fort Worth ultimately won the nomination but lost more than 20 counties to a virtually unknown Democrat named Ray Madrigal who had nowhere near the money or popularity she had.
Speaking to Iowans on Thursday, Cruz noted how many of the counties were in the Rio Grande Valley. The region, he said, “is overwhelmingly Democratic, it is overwhelming Hispanic, it is significantly low-income.”
“What that means is that thousands upon thousands of Hispanic Democrats came into the polls – by definition, they knew nothing about her opponent. He had no money, not a single radio ad or TV ad, nothing,” Cruz said. “But these Democrats voting in the Democratic primary presumably looked at the ballot and said, ‘Davis, Davis — that’s the late-term abortion person. No, I’m not for that!’”
“She gave a filibuster. I know a little thing about giving a filibuster,” Cruz said. “Unlike Wendy Davis, I didn’t wear pink tennis shoes while I was doing it. And Wendy Davis, unlike me, was lionized by the press. The press said, ‘Oh, what a glorious hero. Her standing in favor of late-term abortions. Yay, yay, yay. We love it.'”
As LifeNews writer Luis Zaffirini, a Texan himself, notes, Cruz is right that abortion cost Davis large numbers of Hispanics voters:
After Wendy Davis rose to near stardom when she staged an 11-hour filibuster to block a pro-life bill in the Texas Senate, the Texas Democratic Party tried to use her candidacy in the Texas gubernatorial election to rebuild party infrastructure that had dissipated during their nearly-two-decades-long absence from statewide office. She was subsequently held up as a new paradigm of a supposed abortion consensus though it was apparent that she stood in direct opposition to the actual consensus of the people of Texas.
Battleground Texas, a Democratic group that has spent a year and a half trying to make Texas more hospitable to Democrats, hoped to prove a point by Davis capture a larger percentage of the vote than in the 2010 contest, when Democrat Bill White lost with 43% of the vote. Senator Davis lost last night with a little less than 39% of the vote.
If these campaigns were trying to prove a point, they certainly proved two important ones: that running a pro-abortion candidate is not a winning formula in the Lone Star State, and that the Latino vote is neither sympathetic to the pro-abortion message nor is it monolithic.
The difficulty of running a pro-abortion candidate was evident early on, when Wendy Davis failed to win several heavily Hispanic counties in the Democratic gubernatorial primary.
In Webb County, which has a 95% Hispanic population, Davis lost with only 44% of the vote. The Democratic County Chair there chalked it up to ignorance of the electorate, saying: “To be honest, I think it was the name of the other individual…Madrigal is Mexican-American and [Davis] is white. A lot of voters in Webb County are uninformed and not educated about the issues. We’re trying to change that.”
The Chair might want to rethink this politely-phrased slight to the people of Webb County considering these “uninformed and not educated” people have reliably voted for the Democratic Presidential candidate in every election since 1916. Furthermore, a sample Webb County ballot lists 11 Democratic candidates, 3 Green Party candidates, and zero Republicans for any county-level race. It has even been ranked as the most Democratic county in the state.
Contrary to his assessment of the matter, the pro-life people of Webb County knew and know that Wendy Davis stands for abortion. Her visits to the county have been met with protest by local pro-lifers.
Even a major Democratic donor from South Texas expressed concern about David’s image as an abortion champion: “There’s a perception that Wendy Davis is pro-abortion, and that’s hard to overcome with us Latinos…It’s been hard for her to get away from that.” Nor would pro-lifers in the state allow her to.