Rep. Beto O'Rourke (D-Texas) is crushing fundraising records in his campaign to unseat Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas). But will it matter?
On Friday, O'Rourke tweeted a video revealing his campaign had raked in $38.1 million over the last three-month fundraising quarter. That significantly beat out the previous quarterly record for a Senate candidate, set in 2000 when former Rep. Rick Lazio (R-N.Y.) raised $22 million in his losing Senate bid against Hillary Clinton. It's also about triple the $12 million Cruz's campaign says it's raised in the same amount of time, per the Texas Tribune.
You just raised a record-breaking $38.1 million in three months. From 802,836 contributions. No PACs, no special interests, no corporations. All people, all the time, everywhere, every single day. pic.twitter.com/IDMFNFwezB
None of the donors were corporations or PACs, O'Rourke's campaign touted. But the idea that O'Rourke supporters are from "everywhere" — not necessarily just Texas — has become a sticking point. In September, Cruz suggested O'Rourke's money was coming from "wealthy liberal[s] sitting in New York City or Massachusetts or San Francisco."
Despite the cash flow, O'Rourke was still 9 points behind Cruz in a Quinnipiac University poll released Thursday. That caused at least one Democratic former Senate staffer to lament the potentially wasted millions going to O'Rourke's campaign. Kathryn Krawczyk