Whereas political contributions are not always the best indicators of election outcomes, politicos largely agree that they are very good indicators of voter enthusiasm. Yours Truly recently scoured through the Federal Elections Commission’s (FEC) data on the Democratic contenders for the Texas U.S. Senate seat currently held by Republican John Cornyn and came up with some interesting findings.
According to FEC data, M.J. Hegar is leading the Dem hopefuls in the amount of political contributions raised ($2,058,080.28), followed by Amanda Edwards($557,430.43), Royce West($551,266.18) and Cristina Tzintzun Ramirez($459,442.70) respectively. (see image below–candidates per Ballotpedia). Any reasonable person looking at this FEC data would therefore surmise that as it currently stands, Texas voters are most enthusiastic about Mary Jennings going up against incumbent GOP Senator John Cornyn in 2020.
There are however some interesting observations which must be taken into account. M.J. Hegar’s figures cover the period from 1/1/2019 to 9/30/2019 presumably because she declared her candidacy earlier. Both Amanda Edwards’ and Royce West’s figures cover the period 7/1/2019 to 9/30/2019(3 months). Cristina Ramirez’s numbers are from 7/29/2019 to 9/30/2019(2 months). M.J. Hegar’s numbers therefore reflect a good 7-month advantage over Edwards, West and Ramirez. Is that why M.J. is widely leading the pack in money?
It is also worth pointing out that M.J. Hegar, Amanda Edwards, and Royce West have all previously vied for Texas elective office. It is therefore not clear whether the amounts they currently have are rollovers from previous campaigns or whether they are monies raised specifically for their 2020 U.S. senate runs. M.J. Hegar you will remember unsuccessfully contested TX-31 congressional seat in 2018. Amanda Edwards currently holds a seat at Houston City Council, a position she has held since January 2016. Royce West is a Texas State Senator representing the 23rd district(Dallas).
Cristina Ramirez has never held any elective office in Texas or elsewhere, but is a very well known(and very popular) community organizer mostly recognized as a co-founder of the Workers Defense Project. Given the fact that Cristina Tzintzun Ramirez has never run for elective office before, the impressive $459,442.70 she raised in a 2-month period, should catch the attention of Texas politicos–certainly has caught Yours Truly’s.
For some of the candidates, there is no available FEC data so it is hard to gauge where they stand with voters. Pastor Michael Cooper’s campaign is in the red $680.10 and Adrian Ocegueda has only managed $1048.73 in political contributions. No right thinking person could ever ascribe viability to either Pastor Cooper’s or Ocegueda’s political campaigns given that the primary is only three months away.
Bottom line folks, as Yours Truly stated earlier, money is not always the best indicator of election outcomes. It is however a very good barometer for voter enthusiasm and as it currently stands, it appears Texas Democrats are enthusiastic about the prospects of Mary Jennings, the self-described “ass-kicking, motorcycle-riding Texas Democrat” going up against GOP’s incumbent Senator John Cornyn in November 2020. The Texas Democratic Party primary is scheduled for March 3, 2020. As President Trump famously says, “We’ll see what happens.”
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