Rep. Beto O’RourkeBeto O’RourkeBiden will help close out Texas Democrats’ virtual convention: report O’Rourke on Texas reopening: ‘Dangerous, dumb and weak’ Parties gear up for battle over Texas state House MORE (D-Texas) outraised Sen. Ted CruzRafael (Ted) Edward CruzSenate advances public lands bill in late-night vote The Hill’s Morning Report – Trump’s public standing sags after Floyd protests GOP senators introduce resolution opposing calls to defund the police MORE (R-Texas) in the final quarter of 2017.
O’Rourke raised $2.4 million in the last three months of 2017, according to the Dallas Morning News.
The Cruz campaign announced it brought in $1.9 million during that period. Cruz raised a total of $7.1 million in 2017 and ended the year with $7.3 million in cash on hand, according to the publication.
O’Rourke finished up the year with $4.6 million in cash on hand.
“The intensity of support and breadth of that support is really encouraging,” O’Rourke said in an interview with the newspaper. “Money is not the most important thing, but it is important, and it will be critical to our chances in the upcoming primary in March and the election.”
He said the premise of his campaign involves going to people he wants to represent and listening to them in their communities.
“That will be more powerful than any amount of money or slickly-produced TV ads or any of that conventional campaign playbook tactics that we’ve seen forever now,” he said.
Katie Martin, a spokeswoman for the National Republican Senatorial Committee, criticized O’Rourke, accusing him of having “blind loyalty to Washington Democrats like [Senate Minority Leader Charles] Schumer [D-N.Y.]” and saying O’Rourke “has been stalling disaster aid to Houston [which] shows that he will always put partisanship ahead of doing what’s best for Texas.”
A recent poll by a left-leaning firm showed Cruz leading O’Rourke by single digits.
Democrats have an uphill battle in Texas’s Senate race, but they’ve been feeling more bullish on elections in redder states given recent upsets in GOP strongholds. Still, no Democrat has won a Senate election in Texas since 1988.
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Cruz was first elected to the office easily in 2012, taking more than 56 percent of the vote.