Memo · News

MEMO: Post-Texodus, Q3 Fundraising Shows Democrats Remain on Offense


To: Interested Parties

From: Michael Beckendorf, DCCC Southern Regional Political Director

Date: October 16, 2019

Subject: Post-Texodus, Q3 Fundraising Shows Democrats Remain on Offense

As the dust settles from Texas Republicans’ frantic stampede for the exits, third quarter fundraising results make clear that Democrats are well-positioned to continue driving deep into historically Republican territory in the Lone Star State.

 Thanks to an energized Democratic electorate and flat-footed Republicans who didn’t anticipate the summer slew of retirements, Democrats led this quarter’s money race in five out of six Democratic offensive targets.

 Post-Texodus, Democratic campaigns in the Lone Star State are building sizable war chests while the Texas GOP is embroiled in scandal and panicked about their political future.

Democratic Incumbents Boast Strong Hauls and Cash on Hand Advantages

In the third quarter, Rep. Colin Allred (TX-32) and Rep. Lizzie Fletcher (TX-07) continued their fundraising dominance and are well-positioned to win re-election. Both Allred and Fletcher raised more money than their Republican fields combined and boast seven-figure cash on hand sums.

In TX-32, Rep. Colin Allred raised $583,334 in the third quarter and crossed the million-dollar mark in cash on hand, increasing his war chest to $1.4 million. The GOP field raised $494,126 combined.

In TX-07, Rep. Lizzie Fletcher smoked Wesley Hunt and it wasn’t even close. Rep. Fletcher hauled in $639,699 to his $468,655, despite Hunt’s campaign projecting extreme confidence in his highly-anticipated Q3 haul. Fletcher’s cash on hand now stands at a hefty $1.4 million, more than double her next closest competitor.

Democratic Fields Outraised GOP in Key Offensive Targets

After Texas Republicans headed for the Hill Country in the summer of Texodus, Democrats outraised Republicans in five of Democrats’ six key offensive targets: TX-10, TX-21, TX-22, TX-23 and TX-24.

TX-10: Democrats running for Congress raised a combined $504,343 while Congressman McCaul raised $334,407 and posted an astonishingly high Q3 “burn rate” of 63.4 percent. And after McCaul’s campaign continued to insist that the famously-lazy congressman is still running for re-election in a press release touting a haul of “$400,000,” it appears now that McCaul’s campaign either lied to the press or they’re missing $65,000. What the heck happened? For his part, McCaul spent another $2,500 of his campaign cash on his family’s beloved luxury limousine service.

TX-21: Chip Roy’s Hamlet act – where he plays coy about whether he’s running for re-election while he definitely runs for re-election – didn’t accomplish much. Wendy Davis shellacked incumbent Congressman Chip Roy in her first quarter as a candidate, outraising Roy with $939,284 to his $574,216.

TX-22: In the first quarter since Congressman Pete Olson’s retirement triggered the Texodus, three Democrats running for Congress together raised $547,051. Meanwhile, eight runoff-bound Republican candidates raised just $335,720 from contributions, and national GOP leaders struck out in their attempt to lure former Houston baseball star Roger Clemens into the race.

TX-23: It’s getting bleak for the Texas Republicans in the 23rd district. Gina Ortiz Jones ran circles around the GOP, raising a jaw-dropping $1 million and boosting her cash on hand to $1.4 million. After getting name-checked by NRCC Chairman Tom Emmer, NRCC “Young Gun” Tony Gonzales fell dramatically short while also inflating his grassroots support. Gonzales faces a spirited primary challenge from fellow Republican Raul Reyes who raised just about as much as Gonzales but at least had the decency to not lie about it.

TX-24: After Congressman Kenny Marchant called it quits, Democrats outraised Republicans in the open seat race for this rapidly-changing North Texas district. Democratic candidates brought in $433,667 while the Republican field raised $379,398. Democrats’ top two fundraisers alone raised a combined $383,824.

All told, Democratic fields swept the Republican fields in all three open seat targets and Democratic fields outraised two of the three remaining Republican incumbents in targeted districts, while Congressman John Carter posted a Q3 report so weak that retirement alarm bells are ringing across Williamson and Bell Counties once again.

As Texas Republicans Panic, Democrats Are Steadily Investing in Texas

This week alone saw a huge development in the scandal roiling the Republican Party of Texas and an incumbent Republican president feel the need to campaign in a historically red area of a historically red state more than a year before Election Day. While Republicans panic on and off the record, Democrats are steadily investing in Texas.

Since day one of the 2020 election cycle, the DCCC’s strategic investments have recognized the energy and opportunity in Texas and less than 13 months from Election Day, we’ve already had a clear impact in previously ruby-red Republican strongholds. The DCCC’s field organizing, digital advertising, and research efforts have already contributed to three high-profile Texas retirements, setting up DCCC:Texas to play a major role in turning Texas’s homegrown energy into congressional wins in 2020.

Click here to read more about what the DCCC is doing on the ground in the Lone Star State.


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