After choosing to withhold his first day fundraising numbers long enough to prompt speculation that they were disappointing, Beto O’Rourke’s campaign has finally released how much he raised in his first 24 hours — and it’s better than all of the other 2020 Democratic candidates, including Bernie Sanders.
As The Daily Wire’s Emily Zanotti reported Sunday, after O’Rourke’s campaign refused to release his fundraising numbers for a couple of days, speculation mounted over the weekend that his first-day performance was “underwhelming.”
“After hyping the ‘first 24 hours’ of his campaign in a letter to supporters released concurrently with his official announcement, O’Rourke’s team has chosen not to release fundraising numbers from O’Rourke’s first day on the campaign trail, leading to widespread speculation that O’Rourke did not raise anywhere near what he expected,” Zanotti reported.
“What we raise in the first 24 hours will set the tone in the national conversation about the viability of our campaign,” O’Rourke told his supporters in his first official presidential campaign email, adding even more pressure to the first-day figures.
To top Sanders, whose fundraising efforts had far surpassed the other Democratic presidential hopefuls who’ve officially announced, O’Rourke had to amass more than $5.9 million in just 24 hours. He beat that by a couple hundred thousand dollars.
“O’Rourke’s campaign announced Monday that he had taken in $6,136,763 in online contributions in the day after declaring his candidacy Thursday morning,” NBC News reported.
“In just 24 hours, Americans across this country came together to prove that it is possible to run a true grassroots campaign for president — a campaign by all of us, for all of us, that answers not to the PACs, corporations, and special interests but to the people,” O’Rourke said in a statement released Monday.
NBC notes that in his failed attempt to take out Republican Sen. Ted Cruz in 2018, O’Rourke still managed to set a new fundraising record for a senatorial candidate, so his strong showing for his 2020 bid isn’t surprising.
And as Zanotti explained Sunday, O’Rourke’s emphasis on starting strong “isn’t wrong.” The 2020 field is only going to get more crowded and the competition will likely be stiff, especially if/when former Vice President Joe Biden makes it official and runs for president a third time. Any candidate who once to have a real shot at the presidency needs to hit the ground running.
While both Sanders and O’Rourke raised around $6 million in just one day, Sen. Kamala Harris only managed to inspire $1.5 million in donations.
O’Rourke has sworn off PACs, so he’s betting on a large pool of individual donors to fund his campaign. So far so good.
Beto announced his candidacy last Thursday in a video that was heavy on his trademark optimism and calls for unity. “I am running to serve you as the next president,” Beto tweeted Thursday morning. “The challenges we face are the greatest in living memory. No one person can meet them on their own. Only this country can do that, and only if we build a movement that includes all of us. Say you’re in: BetoORourke.com.”