More than $100 million has now been raised for the U.S. Senate race in Texas.
Thursday was the deadline for the candidates to report their fundraising numbers for the first 17 days of October, and their figures pushed the total fundraising for the race into nine-figure territory. The Democratic nominee, Beto O'Rourke, raked in $8.5 million — another enormous haul — while Republican incumbent Ted Cruz brought in $5.2 million.
At the end of the previous fundraising period — Sept. 30 — O'Rourke and Cruz had raised a total of $89.9 million, with O'Rourke responsible for roughly two-thirds of that, according to a Texas Tribune analysis. Their latest hauls bring that tally to $103.6 million.
With the latest period, O'Rourke, an El Paso congressman, continued to easily outpace Cruz in the money race. O'Rourke has now outraised Cruz for seven out of eight reporting periods since entering the race in March 2017.
O'Rourke spent big during the 17-day period, unloading $21 million — or over $1 million a day — with a majority going to TV, cable, radio and digital advertising. Cruz, by comparison, parted ways with $9.7 million at the same time.
O'Rourke ended the period with a healthy cash-on-hand advantage over Cruz, $10.3 million to $6.7 million.
The more than $100 million that has been poured into the two campaigns does not account for the additional millions of dollars that have been raised by outside groups involved in the race. So far, the bulk of the outside money has flowed through super PACs on the Republican side, though Democrats have started to narrow the gap. A new anti-Cruz super PAC, Texas Forever, announced Thursday that it was launching a $1.2 million ad buy in Dallas.