Beto O’Rourke is continuing to break records.
In the first day of his presidential campaign the former congressman from Texas raised over $6.1 million, according to NBC News. This is the largest first-day fundraising total of any 2020 Democratic contender to date, including Bernie Sanders.
Breaking: Beto O'Rourke raises $6.1M in first 24 hours of announcing 2020 bid pic.twitter.com/8xeOaReoFH
— Morning Joe (@Morning_Joe) March 18, 2019
O’Rourke received online donations from all 50 states in the first 24 hours, his campaign reported this morning. He barely beat the $5.9 million one-day total that Sanders hauled in after launching his campaign.
The only other 2020 Democratic candidate to publicize her first-day fundraising total was California Sen. Kamala Harris, who received $1.5 million.
The first-day total proves that Beto has the potential to take his fundraising abilities from his 2018 US Texas Senate campaign into his race for the presidency.
O’Rourke said in a statement announcing the total:
“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’s haul came after he launched his campaign with a video and several campaign stops Thursday in Iowa.
This is a campaign of people. All people, no PACs. All people, no special interests. All people, no corporations. Very grateful to be running this race with you. pic.twitter.com/yZ7x6GV2rX
— Beto O'Rourke (@BetoORourke) March 18, 2019
He began the campaign with big promises, telling reporters in Keokuk, Iowa, that he planned to “run the largest grassroots campaign this country has ever seen.”
Until this morning’s announcement, however, there had been no proof of O’Rourke’s ability to carry through on his promises.
He refused to release first-day fundraising totals over the weekend, which raised doubts that O’Rourke had met his first-day fundraising expectations.
He teased about his fundraising for days. When asked about releasing his numbers on Friday in Washington, Iowa he said “I can’t right now.”
A reporter challenged him, saying that O’Rourke could share his fundraising totals if he wanted to.
“You’re right,” he responded. “I choose not to.”
But the doubters and the naysayers were wrong. O’Rourke did come through as expected.
A clue that he was receiving a lot of money was seen Saturday night when O’Rourke told reporters in Dubuque, Iowa, that he would support unionizing his campaign staff, as Sanders had done.
He also said that he hoped to pay the highest wages and benefits of any presidential contender, which raised a few eyebrows at the time.
Last year, O’Rourke broke all Senate campaign fundraising records when he raised $80 million in his bid to unseat Texas Republican Sen. Ted Cruz. Although he failed in his senate bid, his closer-than-expected loss, and his charismatic appeal throughout the country, helped propel him into making a presidential bid to defeat Donald Trump.
Today’s money totals are sure to cause concern among his rivals for the Democratic nomination, as well as among Republicans
It appears that Beto Mania is alive and well in America, and nobody should take him lightly as the race for the presidency in 2020 now begins to really heat up.
I am a lifelong Democrat with a passion for social justice and progressive issues. I have degrees in writing, economics and law from the University of Iowa.