Sunday, 18 November, 2018

Texas Democrat Beto O'Rourke raises $38.1 million

Beto O'Rourke Fundraising Triples Ted Cruz's In Texas Senate Race O’Rourke raised more than $38M in third quarter — a record that's about three times Cruz's haul
Andrew Cummings | 15 October, 2018, 20:30

Ted Cruz reported a bumper crop of dollars Friday, setting a record for the largest fundraising quarter ever in a USA senate race, his campaign said. Ted Cruz, in the driver's seat still - though O'Rourke has an outsider's shot at defeating him on election night, most experts speculate.

O'Rourke raised three times more than Cruz in the same time period. 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).

For a closer look at this Senate race, KCBS' Melissa Culross spoke with Dr. James Henson, a lecturer at the University of Texas at Austin who directs the Texas Politics Project.

All that money ensures both candidates will be able to continue flooding the airwaves in major media markets around Texas. Still others pointed out that money, even vast sums, does not necessarily translate to wins - a prime example being Democrat Jon Ossoff's failed 2017 special election bid for a Georgia House seat, which was the most expensive House race ever.

That $38.1 million fundraising bounty - raised from July 1 to September 30 - is more than Democratic presidential candidates Clinton and Bernie Sanders raised in the third quarter of 2015, when the Democratic presidential primary was raging.

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CBS 11 Political Reporter Jack Fink reached out to the Ted Cruz campaign Friday morning for reaction.

O'Rourke announced on Friday his eye-popping financial haul over the last three months.

O'Rourke has refused to go negative, instead recently recording a 30-second TV spot in real-time - including doing multiple takes - on Facebook live.

That's part of what has helped him make the race surprisingly close in heavily Republican Texas, but polls over the past few weeks showed Cruz opening a significant lead over the USA representative from El Paso. "I think we're going to see it in the polls on the 6th".

Cruz has brushed off his opponent's war chest, saying that the "extreme left" is energized by hatred for President Donald Trump and that since there are more Republicans in Texas than Democrats, all he has to do is turn out his base to win. But being so flush allows O'Rourke to add staffers and try to motivate low-frequency voters in Texas, which traditionally has one of the lowest turnout rates in the nation.

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