01/20/20

$21 Million Donated to Texas Candidates and PACS from Out-of-State

Of the $187 million Texas candidates and PACs have taken in so far for the 2020 elections, more than $21 million (11.2 percent) is from outside Texas. The top places pumping money into Texas are DC, California, Illinois, Florida, Oklahoma, and surprisingly, Nebraska. 

When it comes to politicians seeking donations to their campaign accounts, Texas has been known as the “ATM state” — particularly for Republicans. Large, flush with cash from a thriving economy, and conservative-leaning, Republican candidates from all over the nation have historically come calling in Texas for campaign cash. But the 2020 elections may flip that narrative on its head. 

It’s been widely reported that Democrats have their eyes set on Texas as the ultimate prize for 2020 elections. Nancy Pelosi has called Texas “ground zero” for 2020. Beto O’Rourke is using his national platform to call attention and dollars to Texas. And former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg took time away from his presidential campaign to block walk for a Democrat running for the Texas House. With all of the national attention, we frankly expected to find Democrats from outside Texas flooding the accounts of Texas candidates and PACs in the latest campaign finance reports.

Instead, the data is largely on par with the total percentage of out of state donations from the last two elections cycles (12.3 percent in 2018 and 12.6 percent in 2016). Not exactly the runaway script-flip that’s been predicted. At least so far. With more than nine months to go, it’s still too early to draw many conclusions. There’s plenty of time for that 11 percent to climb dramatically — or fall off. 

The Numbers You’ve Been Waiting For

It’s been a big week for campaign finance in Texas. Outside money pulled by Democrats this election cycle is just a single data point revealed by the new numbers that went live on Monday.

Last week, Texas candidates and PACs were required by law to submit reports detailing their campaign contributions and expenditures. Since the moment those reports were released, our team has been busy reconciling errors and duplicates, and formatting the information in a way that’s easy for you to understand and search.

Now it’s yours. Search any Texas candidate or PAC here to find out who is funding the competition or to check out how your candidate is spending your donor dollars. Whatever your reason, we make the numbers accessible.

We have worked diligently to fix any issues we found in the government campaign finance records, but we realize we might have missed something. (The data includes millions of transactions, after all, and we understand statistics). Should you see an issue in the data on our site, please let us know so we can correct it. We want to offer citizens the best possible information.

Join us as we continue to bring you the latest answers and insights about the money in Texas politics. Prefer social? Find us on Twitter and Facebook.

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