Ted Cruz's re-election campaign got off the ground Monday with a new slogan: "Tough as Texas." On Tuesday came an indication that Cruz's fight may be tougher than expected. Democratic challenger Rep. Beto O'Rourke announced on Twitter that his campaign brought in $6.7 million in Q1 of 2018, up sharply from his previous high of $2.4 million in the final three months of last year. "No PACs, no special interests. Just people. More than 141,000 grassroots contributions. Grateful to all of you," read his tweet in part. CNN sees it as a sign of a "significant fight" to come; the Texas Tribune characterizes the sum as "pos[ing] a new category of threat"—the first significant one from a Democrat for Cruz in the state, per the New York Times.
The Times reports O'Rourke's $13.2 million haul to date is more money than any Democrat hoping to secure a Senate seat has ever raised in the state; the $6.7 million is also more than any other Democratic Senate candidate countrywide raised in Q1. But the fundraising is only one side of the coin, and the political analysts the Times spoke with see this as an uphill battle for O'Rourke and cite name recognition as a problem, pointing out that though he has visited all but about 25 of the state's 254 counties, he didn't win the Democratic primary in a bunch of them. What does Cruz think of all this? "We are seeing all across the country, the far left giving millions of dollars to liberal Democrats running for office, and it underscores that Republicans cannot take November for granted." (Cruz has called out O'Rourke over his nickname.)