Beto sets campaign fundraising record, triples amount raised by Cruz

Leroy Wright
October 15, 2018

Democrat Beto O'Rourke said Friday that he raised a record-breaking $38.1 million in the last three months, more than tripling the haul of his Republican opponent, U.S. Sen.

O'Rourke's reported fundraising was more than three times the $12 million that Cruz last week told supporters he had raised in the quarter, which ended Sept 30.

The record haul almost tripled O'Rourke's fundraising for the entire cycle, and easily surpassed the previous record set by former New York Republican Rep. Rick Lazio in his 2000 U.S. Senate bid against Hillary Clinton.

"The people of Texas in all 254 counties are proving that when we reject PACs and come together not as Republicans or Democrats but as Texans and Americans, there's no stopping us", O'Rourke said in a statement released by his campaign Friday.

The amount is far more than any other Senate candidate has ever raised in a single quarter, according to Michael Malbin, executive director of the Campaign Finance Institute, which studies money in politics. During a rally in Texas where he announced his own fundraising success, Cruz said of O'Rourke: "If you wanna raise money from Hollywood liberals, there ain't nothing better".

Nevertheless, Cruz maintains a lead over O'Rourke in recent polls, with a new Quinnipiac University poll finding Cruz ahead by nine percentage points. "We raised money for Beto today that he otherwise would not have otherwise received".

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The network had said it invited Cruz and he'd declined.

The candidates are scheduled to square off in their second debate on Tuesday night in San Antonio. It doesn't make too much sense in Texas Senate races, though that's the pie-in-the-sky dream territory for Democrats, who also spent $36 million on State Senator Wendy Davis' ill-fated gubernatorial run in 2014 (she lost 59 percent to 39 percent). O'Rourke had the advantage in that category at the end of June, with $14 million in the bank to Cruz's $10.4 million.

But despite the staggering numbers, O'Rourke's task of unseating Cruz in a state that has not elected a Democrat statewide since 1994 remains steep.

All that money ensures both candidates will be able to continue flooding the airwaves in major media markets around Texas.

Cruz and O'Rourke have been embroiled in a surprisingly tight race for the Senate seat, with Cruz holding a 7-point edge, according to polls. Sen.

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