New finance reports released by Sen. John Cornyn (R-TX) and his Democratic opponent, MJ Hegar, show the race for the U.S. Senate tightening, though the most recent polling points to the incumbent’s advantage.
Hegar outraised Cornyn by nearly 2-1, bringing in $14 million to his $7.2 million, and also ended the filing period with a slight cash on hand advantage of $8.5 million compared to Cornyn’s $8 million.
But Hegar’s spending since July has also been much more conservative compared to Cornyn.
The Republican incumbent spent $13.7 million compared to his challenger’s $6.4 million.
Of their expenditures, Cornyn reported spending $4.9 million on web advertising and $6.4 million on “media,” while Hegar reported $465,000 on digital advertising and $4 million for media.
During an interview with conservative radio talk show host Chad Hasty on Thursday morning, Cornyn said that “the money game has changed dramatically.”
Pointing to the substantial outside funding in the 2018 Senate race between Beto O’Rourke and Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX), Cornyn said that Hegar is likewise “being bankrolled by Chuck Schumer and the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee, basically people from California and New York funding her race, trying to turn us into California or New York, which obviously would kill the goose that laid the golden egg.”
Touting her success in outraising Cornyn by wide margins, Hegar maintained that the fundraising success was from small, individual donations.
“We’ve wiped out his cash advantage, and we did it with grassroots donors. I’m so grateful for everything y’all have done,” said Hegar.
“The amount of money is just mind-blowing, but it takes more than money,” Cornyn told Hasty. “It takes ideas and a good campaign to beat all that money.”
Cornyn’s advantages as the GOP incumbent in a state that still favors Republicans will also play a role in the outcome of the race.
Campaign polls averaged by RealClearPolitics show Cornyn in an 8-point lead ahead of Hegar.
Early voting will continue through Friday, October 30, and the general election will be held on Tuesday, November 3.
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Daniel Friend is a reporter for The Texan. He participated in a Great Books program at Azusa Pacific University and graduated in 2019 with a degree in Political Science. He has studied C.S. Lewis’s science fiction trilogy and in his spare time you might find him writing his own novel partly inspired by the series.