Beto O’Rourke’s First-Day Fundraising Haul Beats That of All Other Democratic Candidates

The Texan had initially said he would not be announcing the amount of his first day's take.

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.


Gary Legum has written about politics and culture for Independent Journal Review, Salon, The Daily Beast, Wonkette, AlterNet and McSweeney's, among others. He currently lives in his native state of Virginia.