Wendy Davis is hot on the campaign trail. She’s meeting with supporters, raising funds and addressing eager crowds. The only problem is, she’s in the wrong state.
While the Texas State Senator is getting cheers from the Yeshiva University College Democrats in New York, she is failing to make any kind of real impact in Texas.
The Real Wendy elaborates on the meager funds she's raised as of this fall:
Not only has Wendy Davis received relatively few of her donations from inside Texas, her fundraising in South Texas is even worse. The San Antonio Express-News reports that “virtually none” of her campaign donations originated in the Rio Grande Valley, “despite it being one of the most lucrative fundraising centers in the state for Democrats.” The Express-News continues: “In all, Davis has raised less than $700 from the four largest cities in the Rio Grande Valley.”
Just check out these graphs highlighting the numbers from the Texas Ethics Commission. Davis has raised nearly $64,000 in Washington, DC, comparatively.
And $57,000 in Manhattan.
Davis’s lack of support in the Rio Grande Valley is significant. “The Valley” centers on Starr, Cameron, Hidalgo, and Willacy counties in the lower Rio Grande region and extends from the mouth of the Rio Grande up the river for a distance of some 100 miles. It would be a force in any election.
So, why isn’t Wendy Davis gaining steam in South Texas?
Aaron Peña, a former Democratic state representative from the Rio Grande Valley who switched parties to become a Republican, said Davis' abortion message “doesn't sell around here.”
Too bad Texans aren’t forgetting Davis’s infamous filibuster this past summer in which she spoke for 11 hours defending the right to late-term abortion. On that issue, she seems to be living in the Alone Star State. Although she managed to raise $1 million after that display, much of the money came from out-of-state liberals.
As even the Democratic grassroots organization Battleground Texas admits, South Texas is key.
“South Texas is very important for anyone running statewide,” said Jenn Brown, the executive director of Battleground Texas, the state arm of the national group trying to flip the Lone Star State blue. “As a Democrat, if you can't get South Texas to turn out, it will be very difficult to win.”
This doesn’t seem to phase Davis, though, who, it seems, would rather admire the New York skyline from the lofts of SoHo than watch the sunrise from the beaches of South Padre Island.