It wasn’t even close. Despite Democrat boasting that they would turn Texas blue and put their abortion-rights candidate in the governor’s office, it didn’t happen. And it didn’t happen by a lot.
Republican Greg Abbott, the current Attorney General of Texas, soundly defeated Democrat Wendy Davis in the race for governor. Abbott’s landslide win showed that Davis’ largely one-issue campaign — built around late-term abortion rights for women — simply didn’t play in the Lone Star State.
As the NBC-TV station in Dallas reports:
Davis never gave Abbott a close race despite record-breaking fundraising and supporters nationwide.
She was the most high-profile Texas Democrat to run in decades after winning fame with her nearly 13-hour filibuster over new Texas abortion restrictions last year.
Democrats poured money into the Davis campaign coffers, believing they had found a passionate champion for women’s reproductive rights. But when the dust settles, it appears that Abbott will have defeated Davis by some 20 points — a landslide.
Outside of Texas, Republicans also scored big victories in major gubernatorial races. Among the most keenly watched was the race in Wisconsin, where Republican Governor Scott Walker had been targeted by the Democrats intent on ousting him from office and derailing a possible presidential run in 2016.
Walker handily defeated his challenger, Democrat Mary Burke, even though Burke’s candidacy was supported by millions of dollars from labor unions and progressive political organizations.
Walker, of course, famously survived a recall election in 2012, beating back a labor-backed effort to oust him from the governor’s office.
The Democrat fortunes in Maryland, a state they were almost sure to win — at least in their eyes — were no better. Republican businessman Larry Hogan had a commanding lead in heavily Democratic Maryland Tuesday night, and seemed poised to pull off a stunning upset over Lt. Gov. Anthony G. Brown.
Both Obamas — the president and first lady — campaigned actively for Brown…apparently with little (positive) effect.
In Illinois, it appears that the Democrat candidate for governor — a far-left liberal for whom Barack Obama campaigned — Pat Quinn, will go down in defeat to his GOP challenger, Bruce Rauner.
From the NBC-TV station in Chicago:
Bruce Rauner’s money management skills showed through in a big way on Tuesday night as Illinois voters ousted Pat Quinn and chose the millionaire venture capitalist to shake up Springfield, NBC News projects.
The Winnetka native who spent $26 million of his own fortune to run for governor of Illinois, won the prize he set out to collect.
Rauner beat Pat Quinn by a margin of nearly 4 percent, based on unofficial numbers, to take over the governor’s mansion.
In heavily-Democratic Massachusetts, another win for the GOP, as Republican Charlie Baker has been declared the victor in the governor’s race, beating Democrat Martha Coakley, as Fox projected.
Baker, 57, the former chief executive of a New England health insurer, defeated Coakley, the state’s top prosecutor, in the contest to replace Governor Deval Patrick, a Democrat who is retiring.
Coakley famously stunned her party in another loss four years ago when she was beaten by Republican Scott Brown in a special Senate election to fill the seat long held by Democrat Ted Kennedy.
In Florida, the incumbent governor, Rick Scott, has held on to his seat, fighting off a strong challenge from party-switcher Charlie Crist, who was trying to return to the governor’s office as a Democrat.
According to the CBS-TV station in Tampa:
The Associated Press declared Scott the winner Tuesday night with nearly all votes counted. He held nearly 49 percent of the vote to Crist’s 47 percent.
The 61-year-old Scott becomes just the second GOP governor in state history to win re-election — and he did it despite low favorability ratings among Floridians.
All in all, a big night for the GOP in key gubernatorial races around the country.
BCN editor’s note: This article first appeared at Western Journalism.