DALLAS — U.S. Rep. Beto O'Rourke, an El Paso Democrat, once again reported raising more money than Republican U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz in what is shaping up to be an intense general election matchup, according to a campaign finance report obtained by the Dallas Morning News.
Over the first 45 days of 2018, O'Rourke raised $2.3 million — almost three times more than Cruz's $800,000.
O'Rourke spent $2 million, while Cruz spent $1.2 million. The Morning News further reported a narrowing cash-on-hand gap: O'Rourke reported $4.9 million in cash on hand, compared to Cruz's $6 million.
O'Rourke announced the reported numbers to a cheering crowd at a Friday night town hall in Dallas.
Twelve days before Election Day, federal candidates are required to submit to the Federal Election Commission campaign finance reports. These records capture fundraising and spending activity between Jan. 1 and Feb. 14. O'Rourke released his fundraising numbers a week ago.
While this is a sign of momentum for O'Rourke, it's worth considering that this race, in a state as big and expensive as Texas, could cost into the tens of millions. Moreover, Cruz is likely to have a deep well of super PAC money to help him in the fall, while O'Rourke early on in his campaign pledged to not accept corporate political action committee money.
But the margin does indicate that the Democrat is running a viable campaign, is picking up momentum and has strong supporter enthusiasm.
Both men are expected to easily win their party primaries on March 6.