Tag Archives: Greg Abbott Debate

Dear Texas Democrats: Don’t Blame All of 2014 On Voter ID

Given how badly Texas Democrats lost last week, few are surprised to see a lot of in-fighting and finger-pointing within party leadership.  As has already been addressed, there were some notable missteps on the part of Battleground Texas, which the group, to its credit, is actively working to address.

But in recent days, a new whipping boy has emerged for the 2014 failures… Texas’ discriminatory Voter ID law.  Here’s more on the argument from Ross Ramsey of the Texas Tribune

Say this for the state’s new voter ID law — it gave Texas Democrats a patsy for the thumping they took on election night.


The overall number of votes cast in this year’s election was less than in 2010 — by about 271,000. Although that appears to be part of a national trend, Texas Democrats blamed the state’s voter ID law, which they say discourages people from showing up.

Texas turnout, already the worst in the country, dropped. The state’s population is larger than it was in 2010. More than 14 million Texans registered to vote, according to the secretary of state — up from 13.3 million in 2010. Turnout that year was 37.5 percent. Turnout this year (the numbers are unofficial) was 33.6 percent.

The people who did not show up appear to be Democrats. The Republican numbers were up in the governor’s race, while the Democratic numbers were way down.

At a post-election discussion last week, Gilberto Hinojosa, chairman of the Texas Democratic Party, suggested the voter ID law might be to blame for the decline, implying that Democrats are more numerous among non-voters than Republicans. His opposite on the Republican side — Steve Munisteri — guffawed at that, instead crediting his own party’s turnout efforts, the state’s recent voting history and the national trend against Democrats.

There’s no doubt that the stringent Voter ID law was a contributing factor for Democrats… possibly a significant one.  As Think Progress reported, poll watchers in Houston did see some issues, and the number of Provisional Ballots cast more than doubled from 2010. Because of Voter ID, it is definitely more difficult to vote in Texas than it used to be.

But the party and related organizations need to be careful not to point the finger exclusively at the law, else they risk losing the opportunity for a thorough examination of other factors, including their own culpability.  If all 600,000 of those voters estimated to be disenfranchised had shown up to the polls, wouldn’t we have way more than 16,000 Provisional Ballots cast? Press outlets would have reported on long lines of frustrated voters being turned away.  Had Voter ID been the sole reason that Democrats stayed home, evidence would bear that out.

Instead, many of the Democrats didn’t make it to the polling place at all.  We already know that most Texans are low-propensity and low-information voters.  Getting them to suddenly turn up attention before the election, and then turn out to vote was always going to be a greater burden for Dems than the habitual voters of the GOP.  Then there are the more subtle tricks, like Abbott’s last-minute decision to cancel on his debate commitment with Davis just so he could weasel out of mainline TV coverage for less-noticed PBS.  And of course, the internal friction between the party and other political organizations didn’t help either.

At the end of the day, all of these factors played a supporting role in the issues of 2014.  But let’s hope that Texas Democrats do not try to cast any single one, like Voter ID, as the only star of the show.  Instead, it’s time to live, learn, examine and focus on the battles ahead in the 2015 Texas Legislature.  Dos Centavos has more on what promises to be a long ride.

Texas Debate Week

For political people in Texas, this is a very big week, perhaps the most important week of the 2014 election season.

But for Texas Democrats, this is a week that many haven’t seen for the better part of a decade.  The strongest Democratic ticket in 20 years have in back-to-back contests  with their Republican opponents.

Tonight at 7pm, the Lieutenant Gubernatorial debate will see Democrat Leticia Van de Putte and Republican Dan Patrick face off.   With the apparent contrasts between these two, this is likely to get interesting.  You can watch the debate streamed live via the Texas Tribune, or check out other viewing opportunities for your area.  You can also follow along via social media with the hashtags #LtGovDebate and #VivaLeticia.

Tomorrow night at 8pm is the Second Gubernatorial Debate between Democrat Wendy Davis and her Republican opponent Greg Abbott. Several PBS stations, including KUHT Channel 8 in Houston, KLRU Channel 2 in Austin, KERA Channel 13 in Dallas/ Fort Worth and KCOS Channel 13 in El Paso will be airing this debate live, as well as other streaming outlets available here.  For social media, you can follow along with the hashtags #TexasDebates and #TeamWendy.

Let’s hope that after these events, the full formats of the debate will be available too.  If so they’ll definitely be posted here at texasleftist.com.  But for now, be sure to catch these very important nights for Texas politics!!

Where To Watch The First Texas Gubernatorial Debate

Not seen since 2006 in Texas!!  

Tomorrow night, September 19th at 6pm, State Senator Wendy Davis will face off against Attorney General Greg Abbott in the state’s first General Election debate in 8 years.  This is one to watch if you can.  Courtesy of the Davis campaign, here’s a list of channels across the state where you can catch the debate…


  • Websites with live streaming

    • WendyDavisTexas.com/debate
    • TheMonitor.com
    • TexasTribune.org
    • Telemundo40.com
    • TelemundoSanAntonio.com
    • TelemundoDallas.com
    • TelemundoHouston.com
    • ValleyCentral.com
  • Abilene

    • KRBC – NBC Channel 9
  • Amarillo

    • KVII – ABC Channel 7
  • Austin

    • KEYE – CBS Channel 42
  • Beaumont

    • KFDM – CBS Channel 6
    • KBTX – CBS Channel 3
  • Bryan-College Station

    • KRHD – ABC Channel 40
  • Corpus Christi

    • CW – Channel 23
    • Telemundo (KAJA) – Channel 68
  • Dallas/Fort Worth

    • COZI – Channel 188
    • KERA – PBS Channel 13
    • Telemundo
  • El Paso

    • KFOX – FOX Channel 14
  • Harlingen

    • KGB – CBS Action 4
  • Houston

    • KTRK – ABC Channel 13
    • KPRC – Channel 2
    • Telemundo – Channel 47
  • Laredo

    • KXOF – FOX Channel 39
  • Lubbock

    • FOX 34 – FOX Channel 34
  • Midland

    • KMID – ABC Channel 2
  • Rio Grande Valley

    • Telemundo (KTLM) – Channel 40
    • KURV Radio – AM 710
  • San Angelo

    • KSAN – NBC Channel 3
    • KLST – CBS Channel 8
  • San Antonio

    • WOAI – NBC News Channel 4
    • KABB – FOX Channel 29
    • Telemundo (KVDA) – Channel 60
    • KTSA radio – AM 550
    • ESPN radio – AM 1250
    • JACK radio – 102.7 FM
    • KTFM – 94.1 FM
  • Tyler

    • KLTV – ABC Channel 7
  • Victoria

    • KAVU – Channel 25
  • Waco

    • KXXV – ABC Channel 25
  • Wichita Falls

    • KJTL – FOX Channel 18

    • KFDX – Channel 3


Viewers nationwide can also catch the action on C-SPAN and NPR radio (with a 1 hour delay).  Win or lose this November, the fact that this debate is even happening is a testament to the growing power of Democrats in Texas.

If available, the full debate will also be posted on Texas Leftist in a future post.  Hope you can catch it tomorrow!!