If you’re looking for tea leaves to read about the upcoming election, 2nd quarter fundraising numbers in Texas offer a plausible source of optimism:
There are few bigger warning signs for a member of Congress that their re-election may be in doubt than when a challenger outraises them. In Texas, it just happened to seven incumbents, all Republicans.
Since last week, when U.S. Rep. Beto O’Rourke, D-El Paso, revealed that he had raised a stunning $10.4 million between April and June in his bid to unseat Republican U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz, a wave of Texas Democrats running for U.S. House seats similarly blasted out their own unusually strong fundraising numbers.
Along with Cruz, the six congressional incumbents who were outraised are delegation fixtures: U.S. Reps. John Carter of Round Rock, John Culberson of Houston, Will Hurd of Helotes, Pete Olson of Sugar Land, Pete Sessions of Dallas and Roger Williams of Austin.
In the 21st Congressional District, where Republican U.S. Rep. Lamar Smith is retiring, GOP nominee Chip Roy trailed his Democratic rival, Joseph Kopser. Several other Democratic candidates running in Republican strongholds across the state also posted abnormally large six-figure fundraising hauls.
All good news, of course, but the most interesting tidbit is in this story comes a bit later:
One anxious Texas operative suggested these fundraising numbers are merely a first alarm bell. The second may come once incumbents go into the field en masse and poll. But two GOP sources say many incumbents have been reluctant to poll their districts amid what feels like a chaotic political environment and are waiting for a more stable period to get an accurate read of the electorate.
OK, good luck with that guys! I’m sure political normalcy will be here by a week from Tuesday at the latest, I mean, why wouldn’t it? I admit I’ve been skeptical of the idea that “% of internal polls released” is a predictor of outcomes, but this makes me see why smart people might think there’s something there.