Back in July, as part of our series of analyses identifying districts potentially in play, we found that a challenging party’s candidate raised at least half as much as the incumbent party’s candidate in 90% of the Texas legislative and congressional seats that were flipped by a competitive general election since 2004. Half of those flips were accomplished by challengers who out-raised the incumbent or incumbent party’s nominee.

At the time, we promised to take another look at the numbers once the 30-day-out (state) and October quarterly (federal) campaign finance reports were filed. This analysis looks at total contributions for the two-year election cycle, not the results of any single fundraising period. For purposes of this analysis, we consider any candidate of the challenging party to be a “challenger” regardless of whether there is an incumbent in the race.

So far this election cycle, five Democratic general election challengers have out-raised their Republican opponents:

  • J. Hegar, 215% more raised than U.S. Rep. John Carter (R-Round Rock) in CD31
  • Lizzie Pannill Fletcher, 183% more than U.S. Rep. John Culberson (R-Houston) in CD7
  • Julie Johnson, 148% more than Rep. Matt Rinaldi (R-Irving) in HD115
  • Joseph Kopser, 143% more than Chip Roy (R) in CD21 open; and
  • Gina Ortiz Jones, 128% more than U.S. Rep. Will Hurd (R-San Antonio) in CD23.

Otherwise, all other Republican incumbents and nominees for seats the party currently holds have out-raised their Democratic challengers for the election cycle. No Republican challenger has out-raised a Democratic incumbent or nominee for a seat currently in the blue column. Every challenger that has out-raised an incumbent for a legislative or congressional seat in Texas during the last two election cycles has won.

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©2018 Texas Election Source