On Tuesday evening, Texas Democratic gubernatorial candidate Wendy Davis released her campaign’s fundraising figures for the last half of 2013 and they were nothing short of amazing. The State Senator was able to raise $12.2 million dollars through the end of the year, which outpaced her Republican opponent, Texas’ Attorney General Greg Abbot. Despite having the support of several extremely rich donors, Abbot trailed Davis by $700,000 in fundraising efforts.
Per Davis, the key to her overwhelming success in fundraising was individual contributors. While Abbot relied on large contributions from a small group of wealthy individuals and corporations, Davis’ was spread out over more than 71,000 individual contributors.
Obviously, Davis’ message is resonating across the state and she will be an extremely tough candidate to beat. Abbot has the advantage of being a Republican in Texas, which would almost certainly spell an easy victory for him in normal circumstances. However, Davis no no normal candidate. Her star has only shown brighter and brighter since her legendary filibuster on the Texas Senate floor when she bravely tried to stop the state’s legislature from ramming through an extremely restrictive law on abortion and women’s health.
What Abbot and the GOP has to fear with Davis is her national profile. She is a huge star now within the Democratic Party. Davis is getting national attention still, months after her historic moment on the Senate floor. On Wednesday morning, she was interviewed by Maria Shriver on the Today Show. As Election Day gets closer and closer, she is only going to continue to raise more money from individual donations by sheer name recognition. For women in Texas, she has become a rallying point. And for women and progressives outside of Texas, she has become a symbol, someone to support even if she doesn’t represent their state.
Abbot is in for a serious fight with Davis. Expect to see extremely disgusting, underhanded political tactics in the near future. While Davis is still the underdog due to Texas’ current political climate, she is also the face of the inevitable change that will occur in that state, sooner or later. The old, white, male Republican establishment will do whatever it takes to hold on to their power in Texas. However, someone like Davis might be the person to finally break that stranglehold.