Record Fundraising Hasn’t Been Enough To Push Beto Over Ted Cruz

Molly Prince | Politics Reporter

Republican Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas continues to outperform Democratic challenger Rep. Beto O’Rourke in the polls despite O’Rourke raking in unprecedented campaign contributions.

At 52 percent, Cruz leads O’Rourke by seven points, according to a poll of likely voters released on Tuesday. This marks the fourth poll in a row where the Texas senator has received more than half of the total vote. Voters’ preferences also don’t seem likely to flip, with less than 10 percent saying that there is a possibility they could change their mind prior to Election Day.

The El Paso congressman announced Friday that he had raised nearly $40 million in the third quarter of 2018, smashing the all-time record for most raised in one quarter, previously set at $22 million. Comparatively, Cruz raised roughly $12 over the same period. (RELATED: Texas Politics Project Dissects Polls, Explains Why Ted Cruz Will Win)

After O’Rourke revealed he wouldn’t be sharing any of the war chest he amassed with the other Democrats in tight races, Cruz took a jestful shot at the congressman, saying that if Democrats want to “embrace the principles of socialism” they should just take the money.

LEFT: Republican presidential candidate, Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) speaks at a rally on February 21, 2016 in Pahrump, Nevada. Cruz is campaigning in Nevada for the Republican presidential nomination ahead of the state's February 23 Republican caucuses. (Ethan Miller/Getty Images) RIGHT: Republican U.S. Senator Ted Cruz and Democratic U.S. Representative Beto O'Rourke in their first debate for Texas U.S. Senate in McFarlin Auditorium at SMU on September 21, 2018 in Dallas, Texas. (Nathan Hunsinger-Pool/Getty Images)

LEFT: Republican presidential candidate, Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) speaks at a rally on February 21, 2016 in Pahrump, Nevada. Cruz is campaigning in Nevada for the Republican presidential nomination ahead of the state’s February 23 Republican caucuses. (Ethan Miller/Getty Images) RIGHT: Republican U.S. Senator Ted Cruz and Democratic U.S. Representative Beto O’Rourke in their first debate for Texas U.S. Senate in McFarlin Auditorium at SMU on September 21, 2018 in Dallas, Texas. (Nathan Hunsinger-Pool/Getty Images)

With only three weeks until Election Day, Cruz’s lead over O’Rourke continues to expand, likely sparked by the treatment of Justice Brett Kavanaugh during his confirmation process to the Supreme Court. The contentious Senate Judiciary hearings seemingly motivated constituents in Texas to get out and vote this November, in what is now dubbed the “Kavanaugh Effect.”

President Donald Trump announced in August that he would hold a campaign rally in Texas for Cruz. On Monday, the president finalized the date for Oct. 22 at NRG Stadium, home of the NFL’s Houston Texans. (RELATED: Beto O’Rourke Flagged For Campaign Finance Violations)

The two candidates are set to square off Tuesday night in their second, and possibly final, debate in San Antonio.

O’Rourke notably dodged what was supposed to be the second scheduled debate in order to live stream various attempts at recording a campaign ad, and it is unlikely to be re-scheduled. However, O’Rouke is participating in a town hall with CNN on Oct. 18. Cruz was initially invited to participate in a back-to-back town hall, however, he has requested the forum to be changed into a debate-style. O’Rourke’s campaign has yet to respond.

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