Beto O’Rourke

O’Rourke Raised Staggering Sum Last Quarter

Rep. Beto O’Rourke (D-TX) raised over $6.7 million for his U.S. Senate bid in the first quarter of 2018, “a staggering number that poses a new category of threat” to Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX), the Texas Tribune reports.

“The haul is easily O’Rourke’s biggest fundraising quarter yet, more than double his next-closest total for a three-month period. It also is more than any Democratic Senate candidate nationwide took in last quarter, O’Rourke’s campaign said.”

And that’s without taking any PAC money.

Is O’Rourke Overhyped?

Karl Rove: “Just as the media buildup about Democratic early voting fell short, so did the party’s highly touted U.S. Senate hopeful, Rep. Robert F. ‘Beto’ O’Rourke. National Democrats have hyped the telegenic El Paso congressman as a strong bet to upset Ted Cruz, the state’s junior senator. Mr. O’Rourke spent $4.2 million to win his primary with 62%. But he lost 103 of the state’s 254 counties to Edward Kimbrough, a retired Postal Service employee, who spent $785 and received 15%, and Sema Hernandez, who spent nothing—zero, zip, nada—and still got 24%. (Ms. Hernandez did have a Facebook page.) Mr. Cruz received twice as many votes in his primary as Mr. O’Rourke did in his.”

“It has been 24 years since Democrats won a statewide race in Texas. Absent a major GOP scandal, they’ll continue that losing streak this year as their statewide ticket is lackluster and—with the exception of Mr. O’Rourke—underfunded.”

Can Beto O’Rourke Be a Giant Killer?

New York Times: “It has been so bleak for Democrats in Texas that they define victory in terms of the size of their losses. A running joke in Mr. O’Rourke’s speeches is that he has almost convinced his mother, Melissa, a Republican, to vote for him.”

“But there is power in the giant-killer narrative and signs that his anti-campaign playbook campaign is working. He raised $2.4 million in the last quarter, and gets applause when he notes that was $500,000 more than Mr. Cruz took in.”

“He has a restless energy that has put him in 217 of Texas 254 counties, driving tens of thousands of miles, fueled by bad coffee and Hostess cupcakes that supporters bring him.”