October 12, 2018

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.

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

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