On March 1 voters in Texas and ten other states will cast their ballots in the presidential primaries, giving some candidates a boost and consigning others to the sidelines. In the run-up to the big day, individuals in the Lone Star State have dug deep into their pockets. During 2015, more than 99,000 Texans donated approximately $31.7 million to the various candidates. And those donations tell a clear story: Texans overwhelmingly support their semi-native son Ted Cruz. The state’s junior senator has raised more from individual contributions than all the other major candidates combined. And Cruz hasn’t prevailed because of a few large donors; he has drawn much of his support from small donors—much more than his fellow quasi-Texan Jeb Bush. In fact, Cruz is popular throughout the state; he was the top fund-raiser in 194 of Texas’s 254 counties. (Four counties—Hardeman, Kenedy, Stonewall, and Throckmorton—reported no contributions at all.)
Donations from Texas are fueling much of the presidential primary race; in terms of sheer numbers, we’re second only to California, where Clinton, Sanders, Rubio, and Bush have each significantly outraised Cruz. But as Texas’s primary comes a full three months before the Golden State’s, our donations may reveal more about who the eventual Republican nominee will be.