As he made his way through Iowa and Wisconsin over the weekend, Beto O’Rourke was asked about his first-day fundraising totals. He declined to answer leading many to speculate they were lower than his campaign hoped for. Quite the contrary. The Washington Post reports:
“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.”
Other Democratic candidates have taken notice, fundraising off O’Rouke’s big haul. The former Texas Congressman smashed totals by all the other candidates except Bernie Sanders.
The New York Times writes:
“Mr. O’Rourke’s money will, at least for now, quiet some of those skeptics: In a single day online, he raised nearly a quarter of what Barack Obama, then a senator, did in the entire first quarter of 2007.
“Now the question is whether he can sustain that level of support. Mr. Sanders raised his first $10 million quickly in February, much of it in small contributions. There is no way to independently confirm either candidate’s initial contributions; Mr. O’Rourke, Mr. Sanders and the rest of the presidential hopefuls must file fund-raising reports at the end of March. Those first-quarter filings will be made public on April 15.”