O’Rourke nets fundraising haul
3 months, $38.1 million for Texas Democrat
The campaign of Texas Democratic Senate candidate Beto O’Rourke on Friday said it had raised $38.1 million in the past three months, bringing his total to nearly $62 million — an enormous haul that makes him one of the most successful fundraisers in American politics.
The three-term congressman far outstripped Republican incumbent Sen. Ted Cruz, who reported raising $12 million over the past three months, bringing his total for 2017 and 2018 to about $28 million.
Nevertheless, Cruz maintains a lead over O’Rourke in recent polls, with a new Quinnipiac University poll finding Cruz ahead by nine percentage points.
The cascade of cash propelled O’Rourke past some of the biggest fundraisers on the national level, including then-Sen. Hillary Clinton of New York, who broke records when she raised nearly $52 million for her 2006 reelection.
The money O’Rourke reportedly raised from July through September shattered the previous record for a Senate candidate set by New York Republican Rick Lazio, who raised $22 million in one quarter during his unsuccessful 2000 run against Clinton, according to the nonpartisan Center for Responsive Politics.
O’Rourke’s nearly $62 million haul exceeds the amounts raised by 2016 presidential candidates such as former Florida governor Jeb Bush, Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida, then-New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie and former Maryland governor Martin O’Malley.
In a video to supporters Friday, O’Rourke touted his fundraising as a sign of the strong support he has from Texas voters, who have not elected a Democrat to the Senate since Lloyd Bentsen in 1988.
“We’re doing something absolutely historic ... ,” O’Rourke said in a Facebook video message.