Texas Democrat Beto O’Rourke raised $10.4 million in the second quarter of 2018 for his bid against Republican incumbent Sen. Ted Cruz, the O’Rourke campaign announced late Wednesday.
It’s the second straight quarter that O’Rourke, a US Congressman representing Texas’$2 16th Congressional District, has outraised Cruz, who took in $4.6 million in the second quarter. In the first quarter of 2018, O’Rourke made headlines by outraising Cruz, $6.7 million to $3.2 million.
O’Rourke’s massive haul leaves the campaign with more than $14 million in cash on hand heading in the second half of 2018.
The campaign – which has refused PAC money – said the haul was powered by 215,714 contributors, 70% of which came from Texas, and broke the statewide record for fundraising in a quarter by a US Senate candidate.
Cruz’s campaign said its donations came from “people in 1,185 cities across Texas” and that the Republican incumbent has $10.4 million in cash-on-hand.
O’Rourke’s fundraising prowess coupled with anecdotal reports of surging enthusiasm at his campaign events have drawn national attention to the race – though polling from Quinnipiac University at the end of May showed Cruz with an 11-point lead, and it’s an oft-repeated refrain that no Democrat has won statewide office in Texas since 1994.
“This campaign is proving every single day that going everywhere, fighting for everyone and running without PACs or special interests isn’t just the right thing to do, but the best way to win,” O’Rourke said during a Facebook Live update with his supporters on Wednesday. “Something really special is happening in Texas, and it’s the people in all 254 counties that we’ve visited making it possible one town hall, one volunteer shift, one $5 donation at a time.”
Cruz campaign spokesman Emily Miller said of their donations, “Sen. Cruz is deeply grateful to the Texans who support his policies and values of conservatism and constitutionalism.”
She added that Cruz “spent the last six years successfully fighting for the issues that matter to Texans: promoting jobs, cutting taxes, reducing regulations, securing the border, expanding school choice and defending the Constitution.”