Wendy Davis outraises GOP's Abbott in governor's race

Texas Democratic gubernatorial candidate Wendy Davis outraised her likely Republican opponent, Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott, in the last half of 2013, her campaign announced Tuesday.

Davis brought in more than $12.2 million from July through December, while Abbott raised $11.5 million during the same period.

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She still enters the race at a significant financial disadvantage, as Abbott had $27 million cash in the bank for his campaign at the end of the year. Davis did not announce her cash on hand.

The $12.2 million sum is the amount received by three campaign committees affiliated with Davis’s gubernatorial bid combined.

The campaign said it received contributions from nearly 72,000 individuals, and 85 percent of all contributions were in sums of $50 or less, typically an indicator of strong grassroots support. The Democrat received contributions from every county in Texas.

Davis, who announced her run in October, rose to national prominence after an 11-hour-long filibuster of a Texas Senate bill that posed new curbs on abortion in the state.

Democrats have high hopes for Davis's ability to help rebuild the party in Texas and make the state competitive for Democrats nationally and locally. Texas hasn’t elected a Democratic governor in more than two decades. 

To aid in that effort, a troupe of Democrats have formed Battleground Texas, a group that’s working to take advantage of Texas’s changing demographics and to make it a swing state by 2020. The group’s leaders believe Davis could accelerate that effort.

But she’ll need to maintain her current fundraising pace to remain competitive in the gubernatorial race. Experts predict candidates will need $40 million to advertise and travel in the large and expensive state.