Rep. Beto O’Rourke (D-Texas) brought in more than $38 million from July through September, setting a new record for the largest-ever fundraising quarter for a U.S. Senate candidate.
The previous record was held by Republican Rick Lazio, who raised $22 million in the third quarter of 2000 during his U.S. Senate race in New York against Hillary Clinton, which, adjusted for inflation, would be $31 million in 2018 dollars.
O’Rourke’s third-quarter haul is more than three times as large as that of his opponent Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas), who reported raising $12 million in the last three months.
O’Rourke said the money came from more than 800,000 individual contributions. The Democratic candidate has not accepted any money from corporate or labor PACs, though outside groups have spent $236,790 in support of the El Paso representative.
“The people of Texas in all 254 counties are proving that when we reject PACs and come together not as Republicans or Democrats but as Texans and Americans, there’s no stopping us,” O’Rourke said in a statement Friday. “This is a historic campaign of people: all people, all the time, everywhere, every single day — that’s how we’re going to win this election and do something incredible for Texas and our country at this critical moment.”
Congressional candidates must report their third-quarter fundraising to the Federal Election Commission (FEC) by October 15. As of FEC numbers through the second quarter, the two Texans were nearly even, raising approximately $23.3 million each.
More than $25 million was given to O’Rourke through online fundraising program ActBlue, including more than $11 million in July and August alone.
Through the second quarter, more than 47 percent of O’Rourke’s individual contributions came from women — significantly higher than the 38 percent average for male Senate primary winners.
Even with the massive groundswell of support, O’Rourke is an underdog against the incumbent Senator. The latest poll from Quinnipiac University has Cruz leading O’Rourke 54-45.