Beto O'Rourke Crushed Ted Cruz in Third Quarter Fundraising, Even Topping Sanders, Clinton During 2016 Campaign

Democratic Senate candidate and Congressman Beto O'Rourke of El Paso, Texas, raised more than three times the funds than incumbent Senator Ted Cruz of Texas did in the third quarter, O'Rourke announced Friday.

O'Rourke hauled in $38.1 million over the last three months and said the funds came from more than 802,000 donations, none of which were from political action committees or special interests groups.

"You just raised a record-breaking $38.1 million in three months. From 802,836 contributions. No PACs, no special interests, no corporations. All people, all the time, everywhere, every single day," O'Rourke tweeted.

You just raised a record-breaking $38.1 million in three months. From 802,836 contributions. No PACs, no special interests, no corporations. All people, all the time, everywhere, every single day.

— Beto O'Rourke (@BetoORourke) October 12, 2018

The Republican Cruz, who has sat well ahead of O'Rourke in the polls, received $12 million in the third quarter. That figure would have been a new record for a Senate race in Texas if not for O'Rourke's massive sum, according to The Texas Tribune.

"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," said O'Rourke in a statement.

The amount raised by O'Rourke was higher than what Democratic presidential candidates Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders raised during the third quarter of 2015. It also was more than Republican candidate Jeb Bush raised during his entire campaign.

Beto O'Rourke's $38.1 million third quarter haul is more than the top two candidates for the Democratic presidential nomination raised in Q3 of 2015 when Clinton raised $29.9m and Sanders raised $26.2m.

— Jennifer Epstein (@jeneps) October 12, 2018

Some context on @BetoORourke's $38.1 million raised in a quarter.

Jeb Bush's entire 2016 presidential campaign raised $35.5 million.

— Shane Goldmacher (@ShaneGoldmacher) October 12, 2018

Cruz announced his total for the third quarter on Wednesday during a rally with Donald Trump Jr., the president's eldest son, but also predicted O'Rourke would take in more than $30 million.

"Which is a record," the Republican incumbent said, "that is the most ever raised in a single quarter ever raised in a U.S. Senate race in the state of Texas. That's good news. That's a sign of conservatives all across the state of Texas engaging in this fight. We're grateful for that."

O'Rourke outraised Cruz in nearly every quarter since he entered the race in March 2017, the Tribune reported. O'Rourke received $10.4 million in the second quarter this year, compared to Cruz's $4.6 million.

Despite maintaining a powerful war chest, a vast majority of polls had put O'Rourke behind Cruz. The New York Times/Siena College poll gave Cruz a 51 percent to 43 percent advantage over O'Rourke, while a Quinnipiac University poll had Cruz up by 9 points, at 54 percent to 45 percent.

The RealClear Politics average of every major survey since April put Cruz up 50.5 percent to 43.5 percent, with 25 days left until voters head to the polls.

Cruz had the advantage from the very beginning of the race, being the incumbent and hailing from a red state that chose President Donald Trump in 2016 by roughly 800,000 votes.

Cruz was expected to receive strong support from the Trump administration. Vice President Mike Pence attended a private fundraiser for Cruz on Monday, while Trump pledged to hold a massive rally at the biggest arena in Texas to back Cruz ahead of the race.

beto o'rourke crushed ted cruz fundraising polls
Democratic Senate candidate Beto O'Rourke departs a campaign rally at Houston's Lone Star College, North Harris, on October 8. Getty Images/Loren Elliott