Beto O’Rourke has raised an absolutely staggering amount of money lately—$38.1 million in the third quarter of the year alone—and he confirmed on Monday that he’s not planning to share the bounty with other candidates. Which is, of course, fine and normal, seeing as people donated it to his campaign.
For some Democrats (and the breathless conservatives at the Washington Examiner), that’s a problem. On Monday, a reporter asked O’Rourke if he would share funds with other Democrats around the country who may be in tighter races.
“No,” O’Rourke said, according to the Examiner. “I’m focused on Texas. Most of our contributions have come from Texas. All of them have come from people. Not a dime from PACs.”
The question has came up because historically, a lot of fundraising money has flowed out of Texas, rather than into it, as big-donor Democratic donors often put their money elsewhere, where they think they can win. This makes sense in some elections, but not when they have a massively popular candidate running an electrifying campaign against one of the most reviled senators on the Hill.
Josh Marshall at Talking Points Memo had a good thread summing up why it’s pretty silly to criticize O’Rourke for not sharing:
The gist of it is that campaign contributions aren’t a zero-sum game, and any big figure money going into good Democratic candidates in a now-competitive state is a good thing.
Conservatives also pointed out that Beto is raising a lot of cash, but he is also spending a lot of cash. Truly wild times. Politic’s, baby.
Also, beyond all that, fuck it—O’Rourke still has a chance of winning, and it’s wild that people would want him to share those funds with more vulnerable Democrats like, say, West Virginia’s Joe Manchin, who just voted with the Republicans to confirm Brett Kavanaugh. Let Beto have his cash.