In the first 24 hours of his presidential campaign, Beto O’Rourke raised a record-breaking $6.1 million.
Although he had no trouble raising money during his U.S. Senate race against Texas incumbent Republican Ted Cruz, many questioned whether he would be able to translate that to a national campaign. It would seem those questions have now been answered.
“In just 24 hours, Americans across the 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.
However, some have questioned whether those numbers are authentically grassroots or the result of donor bundlers and deep-pocketed Democratic Party donors.
O'Rourke saying they're not going to release day 1 donations then coming back on Monday with a $6.1 million number with no info like number of donors/size of average donation attached is quite something. Wonder if establishment donors are getting tired of Biden's dithering
— Nathan Bernhardt (@jonbernhardt) March 18, 2019
That doesn’t change the fact that he has outraised every other candidate in the Democratic primary, however. So far, Senator Bernie Sanders has stated his aforementioned $6 million was the result of an average $27 donation from 223,000 donors. Senator Kamala Harris raised $1.5 million on her first day, and Senator Elizabeth Warren raised around $300,000.
Other candidates haven’t been as forthcoming with their fundraising numbers, preferring to wait until the March fundraising report that will be made public in mid-April.
Many look to O’Rourke as a charismatic centrist who has the ability to win over those Republican and Independent voters who are unhappy with President Trump, but who aren’t ready to jump onto the more progressive platforms favored by Sanders and other Democratic candidates.
While O’Rourke initially supported progressive ideals such as Medicare for All, he has since backed away from that, saying over the weekend, “I think that’s one of the ways to ensure that we get to guaranteed, high-quality health care for every single American. I’m no longer sure that’s the fastest way to get there.”
Jenn Bentley is a writer and editor originally from Cadiz, Kentucky. Her writing has been featured in publications such as The Examiner, The High Tech Society, FansShare, Yahoo News, and others. When she’s not writing or editing, Jenn spends her time raising money for Extra Life and advocating for autism awareness.