The PJ Tatler

Texas Senate Race: The Real Grassroots Candidate With a Real Shot at Victory Is...

Ted Cruz. Take a look at the gaudy fundraising numbers the former state solicitor general racked up in the last quarter in his race to replace retiring Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison.

In the fourth fundraising quarter of 2011, Cruz raised $1,093,837. He ended the quarter having raised nearly $4 million overall, and with $2,868,822 cash on hand. As of mid-January, the Cruz campaign has now raised substantially more than $4 million.

To date, Cruz and Dewhurst are effectively tied in fundraising; both have announced overall fundraising of slightly over $4 million in the Senate race.

Cruz’s fundraising has remained steady and strong for five consecutive quarters. In contrast, David Dewhurst’s fundraising dropped precipitously—falling 42%—from Q3 to Q4, just his second quarter of fundraising.

Thus, Cruz has had 12,450 donors; Dewhurst has reported 823. Cruz’s average donation is $319; Dewhurst’s is $2,286. And yet their overall total raised is the same.

Strikingly, Cruz has had more donors just in the City of Houston (870) than Dewhurst reported in the entire State of Texas (798).

By all estimates, this will be the most expensive Senate race in Texas history. Dewhurst is the sitting lieutenant governor and currently leads in the polls, but Cruz has steadily chipped away at that lead over the past few months as he has taken his message to just about every Republican meeting, forum and conversation in the state. The fundraising numbers show part of why he’s a contender: As more Texans get to know him, they like him and support him as the conservative in the race.