A national same-sex marriage rights group has launched an effort across several states in the South to campaign for marriage equality.
Southerns for Freedom to Marry, a branch of the New York-based group Freedom to Marry, has mounted a $1 million campaign across nine states including Texas.
Chuck Smith, the executive director for Equality Texas, is heading up Freedom to Marry’s efforts in Texas and said recent polling shows Republican attitudes toward same-sex marriage have changed in recent years.
While the Texas attorney general’s office has opted out of investigating the Democratic organizing group Battleground Texas, officials with the group called the allegations a partisan attack and said they fully comply with the law.
Attorney General Greg Abbott recused his office from a possible investigation that follows accusations and concern from elected officials like Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst. The San Antonio office of Battleground Texas is accused of data harvesting -- allegedly keeping phone numbers from voter registration cards.
The University of Texas at Austin/Texas Tribune poll showed Democratic gubernatorial candidate Wendy Davis was down by 5 points in October, but this month’s poll shows a wider 11-point margin between her and Republican frontrunner Greg Abbott.
Professor Jim Henson with the University of Texas at Austin’s Texas Politics Project said there is something else to note.
"We’re seeing a bit of shrinkage in the undecided numbers in the state level general election numbers," Henson said.
Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst has requested the secretary of state and attorney general’s office investigate Battleground Texas for possible voter harvesting. The allegations center on another undercover video produced by conservative activist group Project Veritas.
In the past, Project Veritas’ videos have been scrutinized for how they were produced and whether there was any truth to their content. The latest video featuring Battleground Texas San Antonio Field Organizer Jennifer Longoria has public officials believing there is enough to launch an investigation.
Texas Matters: The addition of rocker/conservative-activist Ted Nugent to the campaigning in the race for governor only served to add fuel to an already blazing fire. More on opposition research and it's role in modern campaigning, and how hydraulic fracking in North Texas could play a role in the race for railroad commissioner. Also on this show: Air quality in the Eagle Ford Shale, and a look at the next generation of Texas oil field workers.
An internal poll put out by Dan Branch’s campaign for attorney general found 40 percent of those surveyed were undecided.
And that has political experts like Professor Cal Jilson, who teaches political science at Southern Methodist University, pointing to the fact that many voters don’t know the candidates in the race.
"The AG is the third most important statewide office and at that level voters start thinking, 'You know, I don’t really know these guys.' And if they recognize the names they don’t have any details behind that," Jilson said.
News of state Sen. Dan Patrick, R-Houston, knowingly employing a person who was in the country illegally in the 1980s has caused more sparks to fly in the Republican race for lieutenant governor.
Land Commissioner Jerry Patterson, the candidate that exposed Patrick’s employment practices, is promising more to come.
Houston resident Miguel Andrade recently came forward saying that while working for one of Patrick’s sports bars in the mid-1980s, he was in the country illegally and Patrick had knowledge of this. Patterson confirmed this fact with a letter written by Patrick.
Primary races are seeing their first votes come in but before the main events start to surface, Bexar county is being watched by the Republican Party of Texas as a the proving ground for the party's future.
As Texas becomes more diverse -- already a minority majority state -- the whiter of the two parties is hoping to make a competitive bid for San Antonio's vote, thinking as Bexar goes so goes the state.