Democrat Beto O’Rourke significantly outraised the Republican incumbent last quarter, The Texas Tribune reported on Sunday. O’Rourke raised $2.4 million to Cruz’s $1.9 million, which doesn’t erase Cruz’s cash-on-hand advantage but does demonstrate growing support for O’Rourke’s challenge:
The Senate race has been a financial fight since the beginning. O’Rourke raked in more than Cruz in the second quarter of 2017, while Cruz outraised O’Rourke in the third quarter.
While Cruz has consistently held a lead in cash on hand, O’Rourke has been closing the gap. They are $2.7 million apart after the fourth quarter—compared with $3.5 million after the third quarter and $3.9 million after the second quarter.
It’s positive news for O’Rourke, though he is probably not “within single digits” of Cruz, as one dubious poll reported last week. However, Cruz is not particularly popular with voters: One October poll demonstrated that 43 percent either disapproved slightly or disapproved strongly of his performance in office. Thirty-eight percent approved either slightly or strongly, and 13 percent reported ambivalence.
Though it’s a long shot in Texas, there’s certainly an opening for O’Rourke, particularly in an election that will include an unpopular president in the Oval Office. And he’s widened that opening steadily since launching his campaign.