On the second day of his official presidential campaign last week, Beto O’Rourke said he would not release his first-day fundraising numbers. Since it has become a tradition of candidates to trumpet how much money they hoover up in the first 24 hours after announcing their run like movie studios announcing opening-weekend box office takes, there was speculation that Beto’s opening haul had been embarrassingly anemic.
Well, so much for that. Monday morning, his campaign announced that he had brought in $6.1 million in that first 24 hours, beating the record set days earlier by Bernie Sanders, who hauled in $5.9 million in the same period after he announced the official start of his campaign.
The number should not really be a surprise. Beto raised $80 million for his Senate run against Ted Cruz in 2018. So he obviously has a wide field of grassroots donors who were just waiting for him to jump in.
Beto’s statement last week that he would not release his first-day fundraising totals seems to have been more a function of him having little to no campaign infrastructure. He still has not hired a campaign manager. His statement about not releasing his fundraising numbers came on a podcast on which he said he did not “have a definite plan” for revealing them.
His campaign really seems to be a seat-of-the-pants operation at the moment. Whether he can replicate the success of past seat-of-the-pants campaigns, such as Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders in 2016, remains to be seen.
Watch the clip above, via CNN.