Texas candidates just filed their semiannual campaign finance reports, giving voters a behind-the-scenes look into their fundraising as they head into the final stretch before the November elections.
To give you a fair comparison, we pulled the numbers from the same time frame in 2018. The headline from the data was easy: donations to Democratic candidates for the Texas House and Senate have skyrocketed — up 69 percent over 2018 to be precise. In contrast, donations to Republicans have dropped 44 percent. It’s worth noting that the number of Democratic candidates has remained level while total Democratic fundraising has increased. On the other hand, there are 11 percent fewer Republican candidates this time around, accounting for some — but certainly not all — of the 44 percent decline in donations.
|Texas House and Senate – Party of Candidate/Legislator||January 1, 2017– June 30, 2018||January 1, 2019 – June 30, 2020||Percentage Change|
People usually don’t give a reason why they do or don’t click “Donate,” but here are some possible explanations given the current political climate. Some we’ve seen before. Some, like many things in 2020, are new.
Yes, Republicans are still ahead in total donations to their Texas House and Senate candidates — $28 million compared to $25 million — but the momentum appears to be with the Democrats. In the last election cycle, Republican candidates to the Texas legislature had out-raised their Democratic counterparts more than 3-to-1 by this time, not surprising in a state that has been solidly red for decades. This time around, Democrats are gaining rapidly and could easily out-raise their Republican counterparts by election day.
If Democrats can turn their increased fundraising into increased turnout at the polls, November could be difficult for Republicans in Texas.
Join us as we bring you up-to-the-minute numbers and analysis from the money in Texas politics as we head toward November. Ready to dig deeper? The latest reports are live. Explore any Texas candidate, PAC, donor and track what’s happening on the road to Austin in 2020.