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Wendy Davis on Midterms, Education and the Rural-Urban Divide

Ilana Panich-Linsman/KUT News
Wendy Davis visited the KUT studios in September 2014.

From Texas Standard:

When it comes to the electoral college, Texas is like most states: winner-take-all (only two states, Nebraska and Maine, aren't). So we're red and, if Democrats' dreams came true, we'd someday be blue.

Wendy Davis, a former gubernatorial candidate and former state senator from Dallas-Fort Worth, says she sees a possibility of a change in hue.


"For Democrats, the news has certainly improved," Davis says. "Donald Trump only won 52 percent of the state. By comparison, Romney won 58 percent. So it shows that we have a growing population, a growing voter [base], to build upon. A lot for 2018 is going to depend on the state and the country's mood with regard to what they've just done, in electing Donald Trump – whether they are going to feel like the consequences of that demand and deserve some kind of correction."

Davis says she's not yet planning on making a run for Ted Cruz's senate seat come midterms.

"I am at heart a fighter," she says. "There are a host of people in my state and in this country who won't have a voice. Do they deserve someone who's going to step up and fight for them? Absolutely. Will that necessarily be me in a political contest? Way too soon to tell."

For her, one of the greatest concerns is the "continued shredding" of the public education system.

"Let's face it, Republicans were rewarded by an under-educated electorate," she says. "And I don't think it's too cynical to say that the true right-wing conspiracy in this country is the under-education of the populace. It has benefitted them and it is not an accidental outcome."

From a map of voting results, Davis says you can see urban counties in Texas have gotten bluer – including Harris, Bexar, Travis, El Paso and Dallas counties.

"The only major urban county that Donald Trump won in was my former home county of Tarrant County," she says. "What we see really is a state with two highly different populations."

Post by Hannah McBride.

Texas Standard reporter Joy Diaz has amassed a lengthy and highly recognized body of work in public media reporting. Prior to joining Texas Standard, Joy was a reporter with Austin NPR station KUT on and off since 2005. There, she covered city news and politics, education, healthcare and immigration.
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