AUSTIN, Texas - The midterm election is now only days away, and Democratic candidate for governor Beto O'Rourke has some bragging rights before the big day.
According to the final campaign finance reports, Beto outraised Republican Greg Abbott by almost $6 million. Beto raised $76.6 million to Greg Abbott's $70.7 million.
But what does that mean really to this race?
Jamarr Brown, the executive director of the Texas Democratic Party, and James Dickey, president of JD Communications, joined FOX 7 Austin's Mike Warren to discuss.
Mike Warren: Jamarr, starting with you, what is the takeaway with Beto outraising Governor Abbott? Is there one?
Jamarr Brown: There are a few takeaways that we can assess from this. It's important to recognize that Beto O'Rourke also has over hundreds of thousands, hundreds of thousands of grassroots donors. What that means is these are working class people. These are teachers and these are parents. These are nurses. These are small business owners, etc., across the state. And so that's important. And it also shows viability. And it also lastly, it shows that with these this fundraising advantage, that there is a momentum advantage and there's a lot of momentum from folks all over the state who want and desire change.
Mike Warren: James Dickey, these final financials, are they a concern to the Texas GOP?
James Dickey: So no, in big part because while donations in politics are critical and without them, you can't run a race. There's a difference between necessary and sufficient, so you have to have some level of donations. But we have all seen hundreds of races where the people with more money lost the race. I mean, just go look at Hillary Clinton for president, had more money but didn't win the election. We've got that over and over and over again. And especially when, like O'Rourke, so much of the money comes from out of state. It's nice for him that he has people in New York and California who would love to see him be governor of Texas. Those people don't get to vote in the election. And so now the amount of money raised doesn't predict the win in the election. Thankfully, it means can't buy an election.
Mike Warren: Jamarr Brown, going into this midterm election, are you satisfied with the amount of enthusiasm on the Democratic side?
Jamarr Brown: I am absolutely satisfied. What we've seen by Texas Republicans unclear attacks on communities and rights. We've seen people galvanize all over the state, whether it's about a right to a woman's right to choose, whether it's about public education and ensuring that teachers are paid fair wages and livable wages, whether it's about making sure that small businesses can thrive and prosper in this state, whether it's also about whether students and teachers are safe in schools. We've seen that Texas Republicans have failed, but we've also seen that Texas voters have been impacted by the Republicans failures and people are stepping up in droves and will be going out to vote. And we still got two more days of early voting and obviously Election Day. And so a lot of work to be done in the next five days, but there's a lot of momentum that is happening. And we're seeing that not only in the fundraising but also in the organizing that's happening across the state.
Mike Warren: All righty. James, similar question. As far as enthusiasm on the Republican side, are you happy with what you see
James Dickey: Well, Jamarr is absolutely right. We've got two more days of early voting. We've got Election Day, the most important day coming up on Tuesday. People still need to get out and vote if you have not already. But absolutely, there is no absence of energy on the Republican side. And as Seema said, people are worried about wages. Well, they're worried about wages because the inflation is the worst it's been in 40 years under this Democrat president, Democrat House and Democrat Senate. Fortunately, I think voters are going to fix all of that except the president next week and will put us on a path to better results going forward for everyone.
Mike Warren: We are going to find out soon enough. Jamarr, James, thank you both very much.