This is great news, because one of the litmus tests for viability is a candidate's ability to raise money. Wendy Davis smashed through that barrier in a big way, not only raising big money, but raising more than Greg Abbott, her Republican opponent did.
The state senator, who is facing Republican Attorney General Greg Abbott in the race to succeed Rick Perry, raked in more than $12.2 million from July 1 to Dec. 31 from more than 70,000 individual donors, an impressive figure even in vast Texas, where campaigning statewide is astronomically expensive.
The total figures put Davis “way past the credibility threshold,” said Davis spokeswoman Rebecca Acuña in an interview. “They are huge, huge numbers showing there is so much support and momentum for her race.”
Davis catapulted to fame over the summer when she waged a lengthy filibuster that temporarily derailed a restrictive abortion measure, drawing notice from Austin to Washington. But she still faces an uphill battle in the deep-red state against Abbott. Abbott spokesman Avdiel Huerta said the Republican’s campaign raised $11.5 million in the same period, and that Abbott has $27 million cash on hand. He stressed that about 97 percent of the contributions came from within the state.
It's still a huge uphill battle for Davis, but one she can win with help inside and outside Texas. Greg Abbott makes Rick Perry look liberal. Think Louis Gohmert with a law degree. Abbott is also closely associated with wingnut pastor Dave Welch. RightWingWatch has more:
For example, Welch has:
- Argued that Obama is creating a “Fourth Reich.”
- Likened pastors who vouch for Obama’s Christian faith to Nazis and asserted that “Obama’s anti-Christian, anti-life, anti-marriage, anti-constitutional and anti-American policies” prove he only seeks to “use the church in the same way as a previous leader on a different continent,” Hitler.
- Claimed the judge who ruled that Don’t Ask Don’t Tell is unconstitutional is a treasonous “domestic enemy.”
- Referred to gays and lesbians as “forces of spiritual darkness” and a “morally depraved special interest group.”
Said the election of openly gay Houston mayor Annise Parker, whom he called a “sodomite,” is a sign of a “cancer of the soul among the people” and that “we let our position on the wall be breached by the enemy.”
- Told the Daily Show that he wouldn’t support any Muslim candidate for Speaker of the Texas State House because he has “deep concerns about the loyalty of Muslims to the Constitution.”