85%

Winning percentage of open-seat candidates when they out-raise a single primary opponent since 2006.

It turns out money has been an even better predictor of open-seat races when a runoff isn’t a possibility.

We previously looked at the track record for open-seat primary candidates based on their contribution totals in races where runoffs were a possible outcome. We found that 77% of candidates who raised the most money either won outright (24%) or made a runoff (54%). Candidates who had the second-highest contribution total won outright rarely (3%) but made the runoff at the same rate (54%) as candidates with the highest contribution total. We also found that just one out of every 20 candidates with the lowest contribution total advanced to a runoff, regardless of how many candidates were in the race.

We looked at every two-person open-seat primary race since 2006 for which the winner would go on to win the seat in November. Since there are only two candidates, one necessarily wins each race. We looked at the total contributions and total expenditures the candidates made during the election cycle up to the periods covered by 8-day-out reports filed a week before the primary election.

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©2018 Texas Election Source LLC