While raising more cash than Cruz is better than the alternative, Rice University political science professor Mark Jones says O'Rourke's totals aren't indicative of a race that's changed very much over the last couple of months.
O'Rourke announced on Tuesday that he had raised $6.7 million in the first quarter of 2018 - more, his campaign says, than any Democratic candidate nationwide during that period.
O'Rourke, of El Paso, won his primary in March when Democrats had their highest turnout in decades for Texas midterm primaries.
On Tuesday, Cruz made a stop at La Hacienda Scenic Loop on day two of his re-election campaign kickoff event, which includes 12 stops.
Cruz had $6 million on hand compared to O'Rourke's $4.9 million as of February 14, the date of the Federal Election Commission's last reporting deadline. (Obviously that's a broad estimate, not a hard-and-fast number.) What it means is that O'Rourke should be able to go back to lots and lots of his donors and ask for more. Just people. More than 141,000 grassroots contributions. "They're angry. They hate the president, and they are giving millions of dollars to liberal Democrats across the country".
One year later, he's showing he may not need PAC cash. The senator has not yet released his first-quarter fundraising numbers.
But several factors are working in O'Rourke's favor. That's a healthy split that suggests O'Rourke is not simply a creation of national Democrats but has actual, on-the-ground support among Texans. That said, O'Rourke's fundraising will allow him to build a real voter identification and turnout effort statewide as well as battle Cruz on the TV airwaves. But it nearly always ensures competitiveness.