Where Beto O'Rourke's contribution bonanza came from

Democratic challenger Rep. Beto O'Rourke reported a record haul of campaign cash last quarter, with donation...

Posted: Oct 17, 2018 9:35 AM
Updated: Oct 17, 2018 9:35 AM

Democratic challenger Rep. Beto O'Rourke reported a record haul of campaign cash last quarter, with donations pouring in from people across the country, as he tries to gain momentum in the Texas US Senate race against Republican Sen. Ted Cruz.

A new CNN poll conducted by SSRS gave Cruz an estimated 7-point lead over O'Rourke as the election enters its final three weeks.

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But O'Rourke's enormous cash infusion means he has money to burn in the home stretch. He's already frustrated some anxious Senate Democrats who wanted him to share the wealth and worry that he's pulling funds into Texas that could be used in other, perhaps closer races. Cruz, meanwhile, has argued that O'Rourke wants to turn Texas into California.

Just where did all that money he's raised recently come from? Let's take a look.

O'Rourke raised 38.1 million between July 1 and Sept. 30. He reported individual contributor details for more than $20 million in donations for the third quarter, according to his Federal Election Commission filing submitted Monday night.

He collected an additional $16 million in contributions through ActBlue, a Democratic fundraising site that aids candidates nationwide. Those contributions were not reported with individual donor locations.

The majority of the more than $20 million for which there is data about specific donors came from people in Texas, more than $11 million. But O'Rourke had contributors from every single state last quarter, an analysis of the FEC records shows.

Aside from Texas, Californians and New Yorkers also gave seven-figure sums, and 13 other states also topped the $100,000 mark.

Diving into more localized tallies, the top 20 ZIP codes for reported donations by individuals were all in Texas. Houston and Austin residents led the pack, with several Dallas ZIP codes helping to round out the top tier.

Altogether, residents of the top 100 ZIP codes alone delivered nearly $8 million in combined contributions for O'Rourke last quarter.

Texas accounted for 81 percent of the haul in those top ZIP codes, followed by New Yorkers at 10 percent, and California and Washington, DC-area ZIP codes at just under 4% each.

The most prolific ZIP codes outside of Texas were in New York City and the DC area. Two areas on New York's Upper West Side alone were responsible for more than $200,000 in O'Rourke contributions.

Other non-Texas ZIP codes topping $50,000 each included ones composed of areas such as New York's Chelsea, Tribeca and Carnegie Hill neighborhoods, as well as affluent areas of Northwest Washington such as Georgetown, Kalorama and Cleveland Park, and suburban Chevy Chase, Maryland.

O'Rourke and Cruz are set to go head-to-head in a debate Tuesday night in San Antonio.

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