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SMU Political Analyst Says Davis Should Stay Put

Texas Sen. Wendy Davis (D-Fort Worth) leads a rally in support of Texas women's right to reproductive decisions at the Texas state capitol on July 1, 2013. (credit: Erich Schlegel/Getty Images)

State Sen. Wendy Davis leads a rally in support of Texas women’s right to reproductive decisions at the Texas state capitol on July 1, 2013. (credit: Erich Schlegel/Getty Images)

DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) – Fort Worth State Sen. Wendy Davis is still weighing her political options. Ever since she successfully filibustered a late-term abortion bill at the State Capitol in Austin, she has been encouraged by Democrats on a national level to consider running for the Texas Governor’s office in 2014.

But SMU political scientist Cal Jillson thinks that Davis would be better off staying put in her State Senate seat. “Her enhanced visibility and fundraising make her a lock to hold her Senate seat, if she wants to do that,” he said. “It’s steep uphill for her to run for the governorship in Texas as a Democrat.”

Jillson noted that, if she opted to run for Governor, Davis would be taking on an opponent in a state where Republicans hold a three-to-one advantage among registered voters. The GOP has not lost the Texas Governor’s seat to a Democrat since Ann Richards was elected in 1990.

“Even though she is at the height of her national and statewide visibility right now, I don’t think she wins the Governor’s race,” Jillson said of Davis and her chances at victory.

So, what happens to Davis if she takes a chance at the Governor’s seat and loses? Jillson paints a glum picture. “As an out of work politician, she’s got to go back to her legal business, which can’t be that exciting,” he said. “She would have to lose in a dramatic and positive way, lose narrowly after a really good campaign.”

“More likely,” Jillson added, “she fades away.”

Davis had said that she would announce her decision this week, but nothing has been officially mentioned as of yet.

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