The wheelchair ad

State Senator Wendy Davis (D-Tarrant County), the Democratic candidate for Governor, has released the television ad we have all been waiting for: dinging her Republican opponent, Attorney General Greg Abbott, on perceived hypocrisy related to the settlement he received as a result of his disability.

In 1984, when Abbott was 26 and studying for the bar exam, a tree fell on him in a freak accident. He was running around his neighborhood following a storm. The accident left him permanently paralyzed from the waist down; it also prompted him to sue both the homeowner and the landscaping company responsible for maintaining the structural integrity of the tree in question. He won about $10 Million off of that lawsuit. Later, Abbott heralded tort reform that capped punitive damages in lawsuits and brought about big changes that made suits harder for victims. Longtime readers of my opinions will be familiar with my skepticism of so-called tort reform, but that’s not really at issue here.

Accordingly, this narrative, that Abbott rightly received justice after he was wronged but then pulled up the ladder behind him to prevent others from doing the same, is somewhat compelling. It is edgy but it makes a valid point. Considering how Abbott has used his wheelchair to benefit himself in his ads, it appears it is fair game to bring it up in a respectful manner on a relevant point.

All that being said, the ad does not talk about tort reform. Instead, the 30-second spot — filled with ominous narration and music — broadly connects the accident/lawsuit with some of Abbott’s actions in the past, none of which related to tort reform.

The first reference, reported on by The Dallas Morning News this past February, involved Abbott arguing that the State of Texas has sovereign immunity against disabled people who file suit over perceived violations of the Americans With Disabilities Act. The News literally summarized the article by stating that Abbott “tenaciously battled to block the courthouse door to disabled Texans who sue the state.” This is a fair point to bring up, but it is important to note that Abbott did not try to sue the government. There is far more direct hypocrisy with the tort reform point.

The second and third references, respectively, involved the Kirby vacuum case and the case of Dr Christopher Dunstch, both of which have been subjects of other Davis ads. These are more of stretches, as it is difficult to so plainly connect them with any hypocrisy on Abbott’s part.

Abbott, for his part, responded to the ad with shock and indignation. In an exclusive with the San Antonio Express-News, he offered to paint a parallel between himself and Davis (one, for what it’s worth, that is not completely accurate), characterizing Davis as a dirty politician and himself as a far more honest alternative.

It’s her choice if she wants to attack a guy in a wheelchair. I don’t think it’s going to sell too well,” Abbott told the Express-News. “[The ad] is offensive. It shows the tenor of the campaign. If you look at my ads, I focused on what I’m going to be doing as governor, and my opponent spends all her time in ads attacking me, as I’m attacking the challenges that fellow Texans deal with.”

Abbott, of course, has published his own dirty attack ads, one of which takes some excessive liberties with the truth. Still, the whole “throwing rocks at a wheelchair” argument will indeed not do Davis any favors. Aaron Blake at The Washington Post called the ad “one of the nastiest campaign ads you will ever see.” A correspondent at New York Magazine called the ad “at best, in poor taste.” The Week called it “brutal.” Even Mother Jones, no one’s idea of an outlet sympathetic to Republicans, pulled no punches on the Davis campaign. Among the tidbits in their writeup on the ad (penned not by an intern, but by their de facto Online Editor) was assertions that the ad was “nasty,” “offensive” and “bull***t.”

I don’t necessarily agree with much of the sentiment espoused in those national publications, mostly written by snobby Yankees who have never visited our fine state, but — contrary to what some of my compatriots might think — their contributions are important nonetheless. The national media has decidedly figured out that the ad was offensive. My gut tells me that the general public will likely think the same.

I understand the point of the ad. I’ve been advocating for some (albeit, clearer) variation of the point for a while now. But the connection evidently was not clear enough, and the public is outraged at what appears, at cursory glance, to be a mean-spirited attack on a disabled man. For better or for worse, that’s what Davis is dealing with.

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Crocodile tears

The Houston Chronicle reports that Attorney General Greg Abbott, the Republican candidate for Governor, has unveiled yet another television ad. Going back to the style of his first, very positive and self narrated, Abbott lamented the troubles facing Texas roads and outlined his proposal to help.

“A guy in a wheelchair can move faster than traffic on some roads in Texas,” Abbott says. He proposes prohibiting moneys in the State Highway Fund from going to non-highway sources. From what the ad says, Abbott appears to insinuate that these so-called diversions are pork barrel spending used by legislators as de facto earmarks. According to Abbott’s website, this could save $400,000,000.00 a year, or $800 Million a biennium!

This is all good and well, but the Houston Chronicle noted earlier this year that House Speaker Joe Straus will instruct members to compile a budget next session that does exactly this. Accordingly, if one were to agree with this proposal, Straus should get the accolades, not Abbott. However, this assumes that the proposal is a good idea. The Chronicle article suggests that the bulk of this non-transportation money spent out the highway fund goes to law enforcement agencies. Abbott’s website also admits that, “In the 2014-15 biennial budget , more than $800 million was appropriated to non-transportation related agencies, including the Office of Comptroller, the Veteran’s Commission, and the Department of Insurance.” Not pork-barrel spending, but veterans. Obviously, these important government expenditures will have to be made up for elsewhere in the budget, so the actual “savings” will be kept to a minimum.

As Dug Begley, the Chronicle’s awesome transportation columnist, has opined, roads are quite high priority but low on the totem pole for folks willing to spend money. People like Abbott, all too often, appear to think that they just magically appear one day. Those in the know in transportation land have said many billions of dollars are needed per annum just to maintain the quality of our roads with the exponentially increasing population. $4 Billion to $8 Billion, by some estimates. Abbott’s plan does not do this, and State Senator Wendy Davis (D-Tarrant County) does not have a good plan for it either.

Both candidates are afraid of uttering the true solution to this problem: raising the gas tax. Unchanged for nearly 25 years, the gas tax is the main mechanism that the State of Texas uses to fund its expansive highway system. Republicans and Democrats alike, trembling in fear before vehemently anti-tax voters, dare not to speak of raising it. But, because of this reluctance, the Texas Department of Transportation has only dug itself deeper and deeper into debt. State Senator Kevin Eltife (R-Smith County) is one of the few politicians willing to frankly discuss this problem, and the need to do something drastic (like hike the gas tax). The New York Times reported on this development last year in some detail.

But Eltife is not running for Governor, Abbott is. And Abbott’s grand plans for roads are completely worthless. It does not even put a band-aid over the problem like the Legislature did last session. He may shed crocodile tears over our crumbling roads, but he and his Tea Party friends’ extreme ideology are partly why we are in this situation. Roads are expensive.

Ads! Ads! Ads! Ads! Ads! Ads! Ads! Ads! Ads! Ads! Ads! Ads! Ads! Ads! Ads! Ads!

It’s the season for campaign ads, obviously. Just in the past few days, the campaigns of both State Senator Wendy Davis (D-Tarrant County), the Democratic candidate for Governor, and Attorney General Greg Abbott, the Republican candidate, have each released two new 30-second commercials, respectively. Both of Davis’ continue in her tradition of negativity, while Abbott’s stand at one positive and one negative.

In the succeeding paragraphs, I will attempt to briefly explain some of the recent commercials, what their immediate implications are and some of the deeper things to start thinking about with these airing on television. Now, I’m not a very prolific watcher of live TV, and all too often I merely stream programming from Houston on my television (Houston Astros games are hard to come by in Austin). Accordingly, I cannot say from firsthand experience how often these have been coming on the airwaves at, say, primetime as opposed to during weird hours.

In the first Abbott ad, the video cuts into him literally sitting on a large floor map of the United States, specifically over California. He then travels over to the Texas section, all the while narrating why companies are reportedly ditching the Golden State for the Lone Star State. Then, as the grind climax, the Texas section literally raises up as a podium. The entire thing is cheesier than Gouda. And while Abbott gives some specifics about low taxation and competitive regulation, the dialogue seems almost of second importance. The subliminal messaging is quite clear: what may originate in California will eventually end in Texas. It’s a tired phrase that has undoubtedly entered the political lexicon in Texas.

Additionally, and perhaps it’s just me, but I found Abbott’s wheelchair to be somewhat prominently featured in the ad. The camera is zoomed out far enough that you see all of him –not just his face– and then he very obviously rolls his chair across the mapped floor. I’m probably making too big a deal of it, but it stuck out to me. Abbott is obviously not averse to using his wheelchair/disability as a political tool to resonate with voters, given by the subject material of his first TV ad.

Second for the Abbott ads, in yet another 30-second spot that was released today, Abbott goes negative. He connects the dots about some broad shadow attacks that have been flung around at Davis for the past few weeks or so, regarding alleged conflicts of interest between a title company that she partially owned and contracts she voted on while serving on the Fort Worth City Council. The Dallas Morning News provided a pretty concise and fair summary of those issues rather recently, so I would suggest checking it out. The most important line from the report was that Davis never actually violated the ethics policy of the City of Fort Worth, nor engaged in any actual wrongdoing. The connections are supposedly just too close for comfort for some, I guess.

Obviously, it is a big deal that Abbott is going negative. He feels obliged to go down the road of more risk and more reward, rather than playing it safe with more of these sappy, positive shows of pathos. An argument could be made by someone more optimistic than me that this is a good sign of Davis closing the gap.

Davis’ fourth ad, entitled “Time Went By,” deals with the alleged gap between the uncovering of abuse at a juvenile detention center and the Attorney General’s (Abbott) response. The allegation has now received a “Mostly False” designation from PolitiFact.

The scandal occurred in 2005, when Texas Rangers began investigating abuse at the facility and, sensing delay from local prosecutors, one ranger appealed to the Attorney General’s office. What the Davis ad leaves out is that, under state law, the local prosecutor needs to ask the AG to step in. In 2007, after the scandal was leaked to the press, Abbott’s office indeed vigorously prosecutors the abusers.

Continuing in the tradition of negative ads with dark, ominous narration and no interaction on the part of Davis, this ad is yet another disappointment. Negative ads are an effective way to make an impact in a campaign, and I thought her first TV ad was a good way to do that, but dishonesty should never be tolerated in politics. It cheapens the process for all involved, on either side of the aisle. There are plenty of things to rightly knock Abbott on, but this is just not one of them. Obviously, the make takeaway here is that Davis’ ads are all about how Abbott merely uses his office to “cover” for insiders.

Last but not least, Davis’ most recent ad, which was also first released today. This story was described in somewhat vivid detail a few months ago by Texas Monthly, and –once again– I recommend checking it out. The surgeon involved, Christopher Dunstch, maimed and killed quite of few people before eventually being taken out of commission. In a lawsuit, restitution is obviously sought, but the constitutionality of a major tort reform law is also challenged.

The reason is that the current tort reform law currently has an absurdly high standard, “gross negligent,” for these types of holdings. Accordingly, before monsters like Duntsch can be removed from their capacity, quite a few atrocities sometimes must occur in order to prove the aforementioned gross negligence. The ad states that Abbott, after receiving $250,000 from the hospital’s chairman, intervened in the law to defend the hospital. This much is a tad bit misleading; he actually defended the constitutionality of the law.

Still, the apparent quid-pro-quo should be unsettling. And defending the bad law, for all intent and purp0ses, defends the hospital. I don’t know how Politifact will rate this one, but I am overall comfortable with its use. Hopefully, it is effective.

Once again, maybe I am over-analyzing this, but did anyone else notice the huge difference in aesthetic quality of the ads? The Abbott map ad looked to be poorly shot, and the attack ad was –in a word– cacophonous. I could be wrong, but it looks like the Davis campaign is putting more time and money into the production of the advertisements themselves.

Two more gubernatorial ads

In the past couple of days, the two candidates for Governor have released new television ads. Attorney General Greg Abbott, the Republican candidate, first released an ad a couple of days ago that demonstrates his evident perseverance; a positive commercial that steers clear of negative attacks and any real substance. State Senator Wendy Davis (D-Tarrant County), the Democratic candidate, on the other hand, fired back today with a negative critical takedown of her opponent. Davis, for her part, has now published three commercials, all of which are decidedly negative in theme.

Up first is Abbott’s new advertisement, entitled “Garage.” It’s only 30 seconds, so I really recommend watching it. At it’s core, the ad is a positive, uplifting message about how Abbott was able to slowly regain his strength after his accident. For those unfamiliar, Abbott became a paraplegic many years ago at the age of 25, when he was struck by a falling tree while jogging. He recounted his recovery in the ad, when he discussed how he would go to a local parking garage and roll up many levels, pushing himself step by step. In somewhat inspirational terms, he regaled how he has lived his life by the same standards, and how he would lead the State as Governor in much the same way.

All in all, the ad is undoubtedly very powerful. A blog post at The Washington Post described it as “very, very good,” noting that “It humanizes him in an extremely personal and moving way.” I agree, as a 30-second commercial is not typically a good place to espouse cumbersome policy proposals. Ads that make you feel good, and don’t really require an awful lot of thinking, tend to do better. On that front, Abbott knocks it out of the park.

Of course, positive ads such as this one are often merely a privilege of the incumbent. Or, at the very least, are an impossibility for candidates facing such a deficit on positive name ID as Davis. As I have explained many times in the past, Davis is well-known by the people of Texas, arguably better known than Abbott. The problem with this is that she is known as the person who filibustered anti-abortion restrictions, so the electorate does not have a positive impression of her. The only way she can respond to this is to expand the electorate or go negative. Thus far, she has done both. Now, the effectiveness of these strategies still remain to be seen. But this leads us to Davis’ ad.

The Davis ad, entitled “Court,” describes how Abbott has defended big cuts to Texas schools in lawsuits, and has even allegedly advocated for standardized testing for schoolchildren as young as four. Furthermore, in Davis’ first appearance in one of her ads, she distinguishes her position, where she says that she supports a reduction of testing requirements. Davis also supports a broad idea of reducing bureaucracy, whatever that means.

Now, the claim about Abbott supporting giving standardized tests to four year olds has already caused criticism from among many on the right. Indeed, PolitiFact has rated that claim as “Mostly False” in the past. In reality, Abbott has called for mandatory assessments of students as young as four, but it has never been proven that the only form of assessment that would be accepted is a standardized test.

I also like this ad, but for different reasons. As I explained above, Davis needs to go negative, in order to eviscerate the positive ID that the people have toward her competitor. However, as I have said in the past, this should not be accomplished with factually dubious claims, such as the one about standardized tests for four year olds. There is plenty of dirt on Abbott, the Democrats should not begin to resort to making it up.

Davis’ second TV ad

The Texas Tribune reports that State Senator Wendy Davis (D-Tarrant County), the Democratic candidate for Governor, has released her second television ad, a real barnburner that seeks to connect her Republican opponent, Attorney General Greg Abbott, to the ongoing CPRIT scandal.

The ad, which I have embedded above, is a 30 second spot that interviews a gentleman named “Manuel,” who is a local cancer survivor. He lambasts Abbott for his role on the Cancer Prevention Research Institute of Texas. “But Greg Abbott did his best to keep my prayers from being answered,” the gentleman said after alleging Abbott’s complicity in the scandal.

For those unfamiliar with the CPRIT scandal, it is a rather nebulous political drama that is not easily explained. The board doles out grants and other moneys to outside firms for cancer research. Shortly after its formation in 2007, the Chief Commercialization Officer of CPRIT, Jerry Cobbs, went out of his way to secure an $11 Million grant to Peloton Therapeutics, without completing the necessary business or scientific reviews. Not coincidentally, one of Peloton’s biggest investors was Peter O’Donnell, whose political records show evidence of him donating nearly $250,000.00 to Governor Rick Perry. The Governor, for his part, appointed most of the heavy-hitters involved in CPRIT, along with the Lieutenant Governor and Speaker of the House.

Anyways, Cobber eventually got indicted by a grand jury following a long investigation by the Travis County District Attorney’s office’s Public Integrity Unit. CPRIT otherwise has a few other kinks of impropriety, including (but not limited to) the saga of Charles Tate, as well a high-level scientist on the board who blew the whistle a couple years back about how politics was trumping science when it came to grant considerations.

Now, the reference to the Public Integrity Unit should sound familiar, since its attempted defunding is at the center of the Rick Perry indictment. The more conspiracy-minded Democrats I know swear that the two are inexplicably mixed, and Perry’s attempted ouster of Travis County DA Rosemary Lehmberg was merely a veiled attempt to stymie the progress of prosecutors closing in on his corruption, making the funding veto a Texas-sized “Saturday Night Massacre,” if you will.

The only problem with this is that the facts simply do not support this view. An affidavit released by Perry’s legal team to the public on Thursday shows that the PIU investigation into CPRIT did not target Perry. Still, the whole issue feels a little dirty, which is why its use as the subject material of a television ad is not surprising. But why is it an ad against Abbott?

Abbott, in his official capacity as Attorney General, was an ex-officio member of CPRIT’s oversight board. Considering how much good the “oversight” did, in addition to the fact that Abbott did not attend any meetings of the organization, the Davis campaign has been frothing at the mouth for months for an opportunity to hit him. The Austin American-Statesman compiled a writeup of this line of reasoning back in May.

Once again, the issue with this is that Abbott always made it clear that he disagreed with the ethics of him holding a spot on the oversight board. He protested the appointment, and boycotted the meetings in defiance. The rationale used was that, if allegations of impropriety ever arose on the board, his office should be the primary investigators, something he would not feel comfortable doing if he had been a part of the process.

I don’t know how I feel about this ad, given the liberties it takes with the whole truth. It claims that Abbott was “charged with overseeing” CPRIT, which is a very far cry from the limited position he was ostensibly put in, before deciding to eschew that responsibility as well. I’m curious what the good people at PolitifactTexas will say about it.

Don’t get me wrong, I think the impropriety that occurred at CPRIT is objectionable, and I still think that it is an open question as to whether or not Perry knew of the bad stuff going on over there. But it’s only appropriate to push the sins of an incumbent onto his prospective successor if you are open about it (E.g., “Rick Perry did all this bad stuff. Haven’t we had enough Republican governors?”). There are plenty of skeletons in Abbott’s closets ripe for the picking, the subject material of Davis’ first ad to name one. But this attack just doesn’t pass the smell test.

Davis proposes overhaul of Rape laws

The Dallas Morning News reports that State Senator Wendy Davis (D-Tarrant County), the Democratic candidate for Governor, has proposed an overhaul of sexual assault laws. Specifically, in a recent speech in Dallas, she proposed nixing the 10 year Statute-of-Limitations for rape, which in Texas law lists as a Second Degree Felony, with a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison (Aggravated Rape, on the other hand, is a 1st Degree Felony). The article from the Morning News notes that the statute of limitations does not apply in offenses that involve a child in any way, or offenses regarding untested or mismatching DNA evidence.

Davis, for her part, has been remarkably focused on the topic of sexual assault. She has been a tireless force for ensuring local municipality’s police departments (Houston included) test their untested rape kits, and her first campaign ad was even totally centered on that topic. At a press conference a couple days ago in Dallas, Davis noted the stories of survivors of sexual assault, such as Lavinia Masters, who cold not press charges for the heinous attacks against them because the decade-long statute of limitations had run out.

Attorney General Greg Abbott, the Republican candidate for Governor, for his part, fired back by claiming that he is a vehement defender of survivors of sexual assault, and will intently prosecute all rapists to the fullest extent of the law. Granted, the Office of Attorney General is tasked with going after some of the worst-of-the-worst, including Statewide serial sex offenders, the same type of degenerate targeted by Davis’ announcement on this topic.

“Victims of sexual assault in Texas have no greater advocate than Greg Abbott, who as attorney general has spearheaded the arrests of over 4,500 sex offenders and awarded over $1 billion to victims of crimes like sexual assault and domestic violence,” Abbott’s campaign said.

Pointedly, I have not seen any evidence that Abbott has concurred to Davis’ suggestion, which I actually find surprising. Even in the midst of an especially bitter political campaign, there will always be rays of light that I would hope the two sides could ostensibly come to some type of consensus on. Strengthening penalties and laws on rapists should be one of those.

In an ideal world, this should be the type of no-brainer that both parties quickly attempt to claim as their policy, and the Legislature would quickly pass the fix next session. Unfortunately, Abbott may very well avoid taking a position on the issue, just because Davis made a note of her position on it first. That is unfortunate, not only for the Governor’s race, but for everyone in Texas, namely the victims of a horrible, horrible crime.

But  if Abbott continues to equivocate on this issue, Davis should show him no mercy. I can hear the television commercials now: “Wendy Davis is tough on crime; she wants to ELIMINATE the statute-of-limitations for rape. Greg Abbott wants to continue with business as usual.”

Will Wendy Davis approve this message? Only time will tell. The priority, though, should not be scoring political points, it should be improving our laws. Short of that, however, use it.

Wendy runs an ad! (and other updates)

On multiple occasions, I have stuck my neck out to say that State Senator Wendy Davis (D-Tarrant County), the Democratic candidate for Governor, needs to run television ads. Among the reasons I gave was that her name recognition is already high, but it is mostly negative. Accordingly, she needs to run out of the gate and hit back hard at her Republican opponent, Attorney General Greg Abbott. Detractors (also known as those happy campers complacent with mediocrity) retorted that Davis does not need to waste her money before Labor Day, because no one pays attention. My counterargument was that she does not need to buy much air time, but rather run an evocative ad that garnered her a great deal of earned media.

It looks like the Davis campaign took my advice, because that is exactly what happened.

The commercial, a 60 second spot entitled “A Texas Story,” tells the tale of a Texas Supreme Court case in the 1990s in which Abbott wrote the dissent. The case, Read v. Kirby Vacuum, was filed after a door-to-door salesman contracting with Kirby “brutally raped” a woman in her home after being invited inside to demonstrate one of his products. The woman, Dena Read (Editorial note: It is the editorial policy of Texpatriate to not print the names of victims of sexual assault, though Mrs. Read has previously volunteered her name to the press because “she believes she can have a bigger impact that way”), sued the vacuum company after realizing that the salesman, Mickey Carter, was on probation for a sex crime that should have disqualified him from the job, but the company did not “perform a routine background check.”

The case went all the way to the Texas Supreme Court, where six justices (4 Republicans and 2 Democrats) ruled that, despite Carter merely being an independent subcontractor, Kirby was still negligent for not providing a background check because he used the Kirby name to get into Read’s home.  Two dissents were penned (both by Republicans), and one of them was by Greg Abbott, who has an Associate Justice on the Texas Supreme Court at the time. Abbott’s dissent was joined by yet a third Republican Justice.

The Associated Press summed up this case remarkably well back when it occurred in 1998. You can also read the majority opinion (penned by one of the Democratic Justices) here.

The ad is powerful for the obvious reasons, and Abbott’s campaign has already fired back claiming it was either irrelevant or untrue. I suppose the former claim has some weight, but PolitiFact stepped in yesterday and rated the factual claims in the ad as “mostly true.”

The Houston Chronicle provides fodder for some of the more legitimate criticisms of the ad, however. Namely, that the Davis campaign did not notify Read before launching the ad. And while the commercial did not mention Read by name, the specifics of it were unmistakeable. While a spokesman for the Davis campaign did say that Read was warned about this earlier this year, that is not sufficient.

Political scientists contacted by the Chronicle ranged from calling the revelation “political malpractice” to “a risk.” I honestly do not think it will cause too much of a ruckus for the campaign overall, but it is still in horrendously bad taste to exploit the victim of such a tragic purpose without her consent for political purposes.

Other than that, I thought the ad was a very effective political tool. Like I have said before, Davis needs to do two things: 1) get on television; and 2) go negative. This ad accomplishes both. A columnist in The Washington Post recently took Davis to task for the negative tone of the ad, shying away from substantive policy discussion, and I have only one response to the author: go cry me a river far, far away in your Ivory Tower. I would love more than anything to live in a peaches and cream and unicorns world where voters actually cared about substance or issues, but our reality is far different. Even if you have a sterling record to run on, fear is probably always better tactic; Annise Parker proved that last year.

And Davis isn’t Parker. She doesn’t have years of experience leading one of the biggest cities in the country out of the red and into the promised land. She’s a liberal State Senator. Her climb is significantly harder, and it is unclear how much this strategy will pay off. But it is undoubtedly preferable to the safe solution.

Speaking of which, the Houston Chronicle also notes that Rasmussen Reports has polled the Texas gubernatorial election once more. Davis’ deficit has actually decreased. She now trails 40% to Abbott’s 48%. Rasmussen meanwhile, now pegs the race as “Leans GOP” rather than “Safe GOP.”

rasmussen

The poll actually represents the first momentum in any poll that Davis has had since last summer. Back in March, Rasmussen estimated the race as “Abbott 53, Davis 41.” Accordingly, not only did Abbott’s lead shrink by 33% from 12 points to 8 points, but Abbott fell below the invaluable 50-percent mark in polling. Rather than Davis actually “closing the gap,” so to speak, in fact, the change had much more to do with Abbott’s support eroding faster than Davis’. While Davis actually lost 1 point of support, Abbott lost a whopping 5 points.

This poll was taken before the ad in question. I am truly eager to see what the numbers stand at as of next week!