Rep. Beto O’Rourke (D-TX) hauled in a whopping $6.7 million in the last three months for his bid to unseat Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX), O’Rourke’s campaign announced Tuesday,
That sum dwarfs his already-impressive earlier fundraising quarters, and puts him in a position to be able to go t0e-to-toe with Cruz financially in the expensive state, even if outside Democratic groups decide to spend elsewhere this fall.
And, as O’Rourke was quick to point out, it came in spite of his refusal to take any political action committee or lobbyist donations.
“Campaigning in a grassroots fashion while raising more than $6.7 million from 141,000 contributions, we are the story of a campaign powered by people who are standing up to special interests, proving that we are more than a match and making it clear that Texans are willing to do exactly what our state and country need of us at this critical time,” he said in a statement.
O’Rourke didn’t announce his cash on hand figures, and Cruz has yet to put out his quarterly numbers, which are due in a few weeks.
O’Rourke’s latest haul eclipses an already-impressive $2.4 million he raised in the final months of 2017, when he out-raised Cruz, and came during the ramp-up to Texas’s March primary.
Those primary numbers indicated O’Rourke and other Democrats may not be as ready to compete statewide in Texas as they’d hoped – roughly twice as many voters turned out to vote for Cruz in his noncompetitive primary race as for O’Rourke, who won less than two thirds of the Democratic primary vote against a pair of no-name challengers.
That was a sign to some national Democrats that Texas still may not be a fruitful place to compete, in spite of polling showing that President Trump is unpopular in the state and suggesting Cruz could be in trouble. But if O’Rourke keeps raising money like this it won’t matter what they think – he’ll have plenty of cash to keep Cruz looking over his shoulder for the rest of the year, even if his chances of actually winning don’t match the sky-high donor enthusiasm around his campaign.