Beto O’Rourke reported raising more than $6.1 million during the first 24 hours of his presidential campaign, a record-setting haul that narrowly tops the amount announced by Sen. Bernie Sanders and dwarfs everyone else in the 2020 field.
O’Rourke was a fundraising juggernaut during his U.S. Senate race in Texas last year, but there were significant questions about whether that would translate to a national campaign where he was running against fellow Democrats, not Republican Sen. Ted Cruz.
The answer appears to be yes.
O’Rourke’s campaign said he raised $6,136,763 from donations that came from all 50 states, D.C., and every U.S. territory.
“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.
In his first day as a candidate, Sanders (I-Vt.) reported raising $5.925 million from 223,000 donors, which brought his average contribution to $27.
O’Rourke’s campaign would not release the total number of donors or the amount raised any subsequent days.
Sen. Kamala D. Harris (D-Calif.) reported raising $1.5 million from 38,000 donors in the 24 hours after she announced her campaign. Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) did not announce how much she raised, but on her first day, she pulled in at least $300,000 from 8,000 donors, according to fundraising figures reported by ActBlue, an online fundraising organization used by Warren and other Democrats.
Several Democratic campaigns — those of Sen. Amy Klobuchar (Minn.), Gov. Jay Inslee (Wash.) and former governor John Hickenlooper (Colo.) — said they raised about $1 million over 48 hours.
There is no way to confirm the figures the campaigns are releasing until they file reports with the Federal Election Commission in several more weeks.
With at least 15 candidates in the race, fundraising is a crucial barometer for demonstrating who can attract broad enough support to sustain a campaign. It is also a metric used by the Democratic National Committee to qualify for the debates, which are scheduled to begin in June.