Governor Greg Abbott’s campaign for a second term is widely seen as a formality given the makeup of the Texas electorate, but one wouldn’t know that by looking at his finance reports. It’s no secret Abbott can raise vast sums of money, or that he’s willing to spend as much as needed in order to ensure reelection. But even admitting those facts, the numbers are still staggering.
The June 2018 campaign finance reports are out, which means donation and spending totals for January 1 – June 30, 2018 are available. Below are ten things you need to know about the money Abbott raised and spent since January 1.
1. Current cash-on-hand for his campaign is $28,908,512.07, the highest — by far — in the state.
2. Travel isn’t cheap, as Abbott’s team has spent $375,059.69 on in and out-of-state travel.
3. $15,916,862.76 – the amount of money the campaign made on U.S. Treasury bills.
4. Statewide campaigns are a beast, usually composed of large staffs, numerous events, and a vast network of volunteers. Abbott’s team literally fed the beast, spending $68,003.90 on food, including $9,493.92 at County Line BBQ.
5. The number of $100,000+ contributions the campaign has received so far this calendar year: 26.
6. Most voters don’t hold political consultants in high regard, but Abbott’s team appears to believe their consultants are adding value. Why else would they have spent $209,360.49 on these services?
7. John L. Nau, III spent much of the 2018 Primary Election season opposing Abbott’s endorsed candidates via his support of the Associated Republicans of Texas. It appears Nau would like to once again be in the Governor’s good graces given the $50,000 contribution he made to Abbott after the primaries were over.
8. Fundraising is critical for campaigns, and his team has spent $678,207.25 on line items to do just that. Given their fundraising haul was $10,949,928.45, the ratio of dollars raised to dollars spent on fundraising was more than 16:1.
9. Abbott’s team has done its best to make the most of their massive campaign war chest, including putting large sums into various bank CDs. Since January 1, the campaign has also redeemed multiple existing CDs totaling $3,459,000.
10. $16,515,238. – the amount of money the campaign spent on advertising, the bulk of which went towards purchasing future TV spots.
There’s much to unpack in Abbott’s most recent report. We encourage you to take a look for yourself, and let us know if you find anything interesting.
Our Race to Raise series takes a deeper look at the most high-profile races of the election cycle, focusing specifically on money raised by those seeking to serve in public office. Stay tuned for the next installment.