The fact that the two top candidates fielded by the Texas Democratic Party in this year's elections are women is getting the ticket a lot of early buzz, but experts say it is unlikely that the buzz will translate into victory, 1200 WOAI news reports.
State Senators Wendy Davis and Leticia Van de Putte are the only candidates for governor and lieutenant governor, respectively, and after they are formally nominated in March, will make only the fifth time in U.S. history that women have run for the top two offices in a state on the same party line.
But Alan Saxe, a political analyst at the University of Texas at Arlington says early buzz, which is will definitely translate into fundraising success, does not equal votes in November.
"Quite frankly, their chances of winning are very very questionable," Saxe told 1200 WOAI news. "But if they can garner a lot of support, it may give future Democrats, like for the national ticket in 2016, a little more hope."
And Saxe said for a party which has been in the doghouse for more than two decades, nominating an all woman ticket sends out a useful message.
But he says if the dominant Republicans did the same thing, they wouldn't have gotten the national coverage that Davis and Van de Putte have received over the past couple of weeks.
"This is a challenge to the Republican establishment, so to speak," he said. "The challengers always get a little bit more publicity and media attention than, perhaps, the establishment."
He says one thing the ticket will do, with an Anglo woman and a Hispanic woman in the top two slots, is to focus attention on the lack of diversity on the Republican side. With the exception of Latino George P. Bush, who is running for State Land Commissioner, nearly every major Republican candidate for every top office in Texas is an Anglo male. That includes likely governor nominee Greg Abbott.
The Davis campaign took on a 'not ready for prime time' appearance over the weekend when a top campaign staffer misread reports filed with the Texas Ethics Commission and sent out a news release claiming Abbott received 'nearly $400,000' from the payday lending industry. The campaign then had to backtrack, saying the number was more like 'at least $195,000.'
Saxe says the best benefit the Davis-Van de Putte campaign will have for the Democrats is not in winning, but to help rebuild the party and pave the road for success in 2016, 2018, and beyond as the state's demographics change.
"If the Democrats can field two women to even run a strong campaign it could mean a lot," he said. "A lot of people are aware that the demographics in this state are changing very dramatically."