The Slatest

Beto O’Rourke Is Raising Texas-Size Piles of Money. That Still Might Not Be Enough to Win.

Beto O’Rourke gives a speech on a dark stage.
Democratic Senate candidate Beto O’Rourke addresses supporters during a campaign rally at White Oak Music Hall on Monday in Houston. Loren Elliott/Getty Images

Beto O’Rourke is very good at getting people to give his campaign money. The campaign said Friday that it had raised $38 million from more than 800,000 donors in the third quarter of this year, far outpacing the Cruz’s campaign’s more than $12 million haul. By comparison, Rick Lazio, who had the previous record for three-month fundraising when challenging Hillary Clinton in 2000, pulled in only $22 million.

O’Rourke is, if nothing else, a media and fundraising phenomenon with little precedent, besides maybe Barrack Obama. No wonder Michael Avenatti is getting in on it.


While Cruz is still up in the polls—the RealClearPolitics polling average has him up 7 points and FiveThirtyEight gives O’Rourke just a little over a 20 percent chance of winning—O’Rourke’s campaign has consistently out-raised him. In the second quarter of this year, O’Rourke brought in $10.4 million while Cruz raised $4.6 million. In the first quarter, O’Rourke had $6.7 million in donations, firmly putting him on the map as a potential challenger in the conservative stronghold of Texas. (Cruz had raised $3.2 million.)

But who knows, maybe he’ll pull it off? Or maybe Heidi Heitkamp could use some of that dough.