Out-of-state money pouring into losing Dem Senate candidates in ND, TX

The Texas Senate race between incumbent Republican Ted Cruz and Democratic challenger Rep. Beto O'Rourke has now become the most expensive Senate race in US history.

Filings with the FEC show O'Rourke raising an astonishing $70 million. Cruz has not been idle either, pulling in more than $40 million since 2012. 

Meanwhile, in North Dakota, incumbent Senator Heidi Heitkamp pulled in an eye-popping $12.5 million in just the last 17 days. Analaysts credit her "no" vote on the Kavanaugh nomination - a no brainer for any Democratic senator seeing that the alternative was to have a a mob of screaming liberals calling for her head. 

But as the Washington Free Beacon reports, just 2% of it has come from donors in North Dakota.

Only 2 percent of Heitkamp's "eye-popping" haul, which has been credited to her decision to stick with her party and vote against Kavanaugh, came from within North Dakota, according to an analysis of her latest filing with the Federal Election Commission, which covers campaign activity from Oct. 1 through Oct. 17.

The campaign is only required to disclose sources of contributions over $200, which came to just under $4.9 million of the money raised. Only $105,568.17, or 2.15 percent, of the itemized contributions came from sources within North Dakota, where the incumbent Democrat is currently trailing by double-digits in the polls to Republican Kevin Cramer.

A far larger proportion of donations came from deep blue coastal states such as California, which was the source of $1.25 million, or 25.5 percent, of itemized contributions to Heitkamp. She received $732,625.54—or 15 percent—from donors in New York.

It is impossible to determine from the FEC report the geographic source of the unitemized contributions to Heitkamp, which are under $200 and accounted for $7.5 million of the fundraising.

Heitkamp's campaign did not respond to a request for information on the unitemized contributions.

Over the course of her current campaign, Heitkamp has received just 9 percent of her political contributions from within North Dakota, according to data collected by the Center for Responsive Politics.

It should be noted that Heitkamp is being slaughtered in the polls, trailing GOP challenger Rep. Ken Cramer by 16 points. (Can I say "slaughtered" without triggering anyone?)

As for O'Roruke, he too is benefitting hugely from donations originating outside of the state of Texas.

Dallas Morning News:

ActBlue has turbocharged the effort, allowing O'Rourke supporters in Texas and around the country to pour modest sums into the race, and set up recurring donations

ActBlue announced Friday that 4.7 million donors who used the portal since January 2017 have sent $1.5 billion to Democratic candidates and groups nationwide, in 37 million transactions averaging about $40 each.

"Americans across the country are chipping in whatever they can to the races and groups they care about - whether it's for their next school board member or governor," said ActBlue executive director Erin Hill. "Small-dollar donors are leading the blue wave and making sure Democrats have the funds they need to win on Nov. 6."

Cruz and other Republicans accuse California liberals and other out-of-state Democrats of trying to buy the Texas seat. 

But a Dallas Morning News analysis of itemized donations shows that a bigger share of Cruz donations comes from out-of-state: 43 percent, compared with 38 percent for O'Rourke. Cruz's out-of-state take is far higher when PAC donations are taken into account.

The difference is Cruz is winning. O'Rourke can spend as much as he wants but if he doesn't win, who cares? National Democrats aren't very happy. Out of state donors are pouring so much money into Texas, that some candidates are complaining that he's siphoning off support from more winnable races.

Indeed, that's the bottom line. These tens of millions of dollars might reflect a certain amount of enthusiasm for Heitkamp and O'Rourke, but it hardly helps either candidate in their respective races. Heitkamp is just about a gone goose and O'Rourke, for all the adoring press and celebrity coverage, is not getting any closer to Cruz who maintains a significant lead over the challenger.

Republicans are delighted that so much money is being given to probable losing candidates. It means less money for other candidates who might have a shot at defeating a GOP incumbent. And with the chances of Democratic takeover of the senate slipping away, that's the only thing that matters.

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