Tea Party Political Ads Fail To Shake Up Texas Primary Battles

GOP incumbents face intra-party battles before general election in November.
3:00 | 03/04/14

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Transcript for Tea Party Political Ads Fail To Shake Up Texas Primary Battles
This is a special room. I'm Michelle Franzen in new York and this is an ABC news digital special report. It's primary day in the lone star state. And there are a whole bunch of political stars with their futures in the balance. From Wendy Davis to Sarah payments chosen one. They're all counting votes today. Joining us now out of breakdown the races from Capitol Hill. ABC news senior Washington correspondent Jeff felony also in Washington ABC news political director Rick Klein thank you both for joining us Rick. Let's get to it let's begin with the two candidates for governor. Wendy Davis the Democrat and Greg Abbott the Republican attorney general are expected to win their primaries handily. What numbers should we look out for especially in Davis -- -- that might give us an idea she has the chance. They're gonna cruise to victory over the keeper Wendy Davis is the show that Democrats exist in Texas in the kind of numbers that -- take on Republicans. It's been twenty years since any Democrat has won a statewide office in Texas. Wendy -- is trying to change that her famous one woman filibuster show with those pink sneakers on the floor of the Texas senate last year trying to prove that is not just a one time thing that she can actually. Excite the democratic base of she's able to beat the -- That is surrounded Texas Democrats in previous primaries I think -- inject a little bit more momentum even though there's nothing really at stake today she has -- show that Texas has an opportunity to turn -- there a lot of democratic activists on the ground in Texas and around the country. That are watching this race -- -- like Wendy -- the show that she can do it for real. And it's gonna start with the primary today. Jeff busy day turning to the senate now wacky primary race down there Steve Stockman the Tea Party congressman isn't the only one challenging incumbent John Cornett corn and here's an ad targeting cornyn from candidate to -- still -- As a US senator from Texas you vote for Texas. You don't -- ever in the back by voted for cloture on obamacare you don't his -- -- children with a constitutional laws and overwhelming debt and you certainly don't do all this to police and got it looks and fights like a -- I'm a Texan we Texans don't need a Bill White -- telling us how to fight and my turtle -- Really. I'm going -- and I approve this message. Paid for by Texans Stucco wall. Of death is there a chance to -- -- split some Tea Party boats from -- There's not much of a chance that. That to join -- ball's going to win but I think he may win. You know there is an Oscars award for the best political out of the cycle that may well be -- We don't hear we hear senator Mitch McConnell the Republican minority leader called a lot of names we don't often hear him. Called are being compared to that hurdle at least out loud here but that -- he is not going to win this race today even Republicans concede that but. Senator John Cornyn he has a race on its hands with a fellow. A Texan. Who's serving in the house Steve Stockman and he has a -- Tea Party candidate -- -- through. But he is also expected to come up short could not raise money really did not give his campaign -- the ground so if senator cornyn wins today. He's basically the number two Republican in the senate if he wins today. The establishment Republicans here in Washington and across the country will take that as a sign. That they have won the first victory against the Tea Party. He's it has more money in other things but if senator cornyn wins today he voted to raise the debt ceiling just a couple weeks ago. Some conservatives. Found that unconscionable but that he did it because he thought it was the right thing if for the senate and the country frankly by. If he wins this primary today he'll certainly -- on to re election night. In the fall and Rick. Let's go to Dallas now on texas' 32 district where congressman Pete Sessions chair of the house rules committee is facing a Tea Party challenge of -- -- -- that challenger and perhaps more importantly who has her back. Her name is Katrina -- she is 37 years old when she is African American. And she has Sarah Palin's backing in that race this become a stand in for frustration against house leadership. Across the country Pete Sessions is that the chairman of the house rules committee and member of the leadership team of speaker Boehner he is a former chairman of the national Republican aggression -- committee. He is seen as the establishment and there was a lot of excitement around Katrina Pierson as a rising star -- it would go a lot of places. But according to the folks are watching this race frankly pretty carefully it is going to be a tough fight for her to succeed today against sessions -- is a veteran congressman from the Dallas area deep roots in that district he's going to be very hard to unseat. But I have a feeling that we haven't heard the end of Katrina Pierson anymore the way for the -- -- -- -- and Rick there's been lots of pac money thrown into this race of late here's one attacking sessions. As an absentee congressman. Congressman Pete Sessions live in the 32. Congressional district of Texas he -- presents. He claims he lives in apartment 1197. On southwestern. Boulevard. This is the address that mr. sessions Lewis as his permanent residence and has signed. And militarized. Candidate filing document dated November 152013. Apartment 1197. Appears to be emptied. And when neighbors are asked if they ever recall seeing mr. sessions. They draw a playing. Now Rick what sort. Attraction dozens that have Hampton Pearson currency sessions -- goodness that's a bad political advocate -- -- that ominous voice I kind of think it's the is just so open for parity before anything else I think that it's probably. A good nugget of opposition research that was taken in a bad direction and it's just one of the reasons that we're not seeing Katrina Pearson's. Campaign catch a lot of fire itself to be an incoming congressman and I think what -- that -- -- everything that's important remembered all of this is that. It's not like. The establishment is saving a bunch of raging moderates people like Pete Sessions and John Cornyn. Are very conservative lawmakers in fact they've grown more conservative in preparing for these primary -- so it may be that even if the Tea Party goes over Texas today. They don't achieve a lot of their goals by moving the Republican Party further to the right further in their direction. All right and (%expletive) voters are -- a notable name on the ballot today a bush George P. Bush. That's -- eldest son former president George w.'s nephew what is he running for give us an idea that position and why despite how might sound outsiders. How that is such a powerful position. -- -- right we are seeing another push on the ballot in Texas George P. Bush is running for Texas land commissioner and that is a very powerful -- a I'm one of the a state -- races in Texas and really the beginning his formal political career. He's played around the edges he's been active in campaigns -- back to -- when he was a young boy we some and his grandfather's. Campaign events of president George H. W. Bush but now he is a lawyer -- -- so living in Houston and he is. Running for Texas land commissioner it really is the beginning of what could be. Another bush political career he has a nominal primary opponent -- today. I'm all Texas a political observers we've talked to expect him to win today and then go on to a run between now and November but. It's hard to imagine that he doesn't have something bigger. And Texas land commissioner on his mind at least somewhere in the back of his mind. So got to get the first step. That's for -- it -- like two competing narratives here on one hand there's Wendy Davis is pushed to make Texas a little less red. And then there -- these formidable Tea Party candidates how do you think this will play out -- voters in the state. With the primaries for -- -- it it's a microcosm of the year because you have Democrats trying to. Push back against a lot of the historical tides and trends you have Republicans were still wrestling with this fight raging inside their own party but as Jeff pointed out if Republicans can. Get get out of the state of Texas without seeing any of their incumbents. Go down it's gonna be seen as a good -- for their prospects the biggest thing -- standing in the way of beat Republican gains. Across the country and particularly in those key senate races are Republicans themselves and they can screw it up if they -- -- the wrong direction in these primaries. If they're able -- to save it for John Cornyn as seems likely if they're able to save it for other incumbents like Pete Sessions. -- also seems likely they'll -- feel good about their chances this is the biggest red state in the country in a lot of ways the Tea Party. Got its legs under itself when it beat it went ahead Ted Cruz beat establishment candidate. I just two years ago so if they can turn that back and say look we can be disciplined we can. We can make sure we have candidates that are sufficiently conservative but not just knock off incumbents for that for the sake of of knocking off and comments. And they can feel a lot better about the way they they -- of these next eight months. Very good ABC news political director Rick Klein senior Washington correspondent -- thank you both so much for adding some perspective. On these -- state races for real time updates on primary day in Texas stay right here on abcnews.com. For the latest on all the biggest races of the midterm election year up with ABC news politics series fourteen for fourteen. For now I'm Michelle Franzen in New York. This is that an ABC news digital special report.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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