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FOCUS: Beto O'Rourke Raises $6.1 Million in First 24 Hours, Smashing Bernie Sanders' Record
Written by <a href="index.php?option=com_comprofiler&task=userProfile&user=31070"><span class="small">Lauren Gambino, Guardian UK</span></a>   
Monday, 18 March 2019 12:08

Gambino writes: "Democratic hopeful Beto O'Rourke raised an unprecedented $6.1m during the first 24 hours of his official run for the White House, his campaign announced on Monday."

Representative Beto O'Rourke. (photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)
Representative Beto O'Rourke. (photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

Beto O'Rourke Raises $6.1 Million in First 24 Hours, Smashing Bernie Sanders' Record

By Lauren Gambino, Guardian UK

18 March 19

Stunning sum is more than every other Democratic challenger who has disclosed their first-day totals

emocratic hopeful Beto O’Rourke raised an unprecedented $6.1m during the first 24 hours of his official run for the White House, his campaign announced on Monday.

The stunning sum is more than rival Bernie Sanders and every other 2020 Democratic challenger who has disclosed their first-day fundraising totals. His campaign did not immediately disclose the number of donors who contributed or the average size of the contribution.

“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 said in a statement.

The former Texas congressman, like Sanders and some of his other colleagues, has shunned Pac donations of any kind. He did not rule out holding fundraisers.

At this stage in the primary contest, when polling typically reflects name recognition, early fundraising figures are an early test of a candidate’s strength and depth of support. For O’Rourke, the initial numbers are an indication of whether he can hold onto the support that powered his unexpectedly strong Senate challenge against incumbent Republican senator Ted Cruz last year.

The first-day haul also reflects O’Rourke’s remarkable rise from little-known congressman from the border town of El Paso to a national Democratic star after narrowly losing his Senate bid. During his 2018 Senate campaign, O’Rourke shattered records when he raised a historic $38m in just one quarter. Average donations were about $47.

O’Rourke formally entered the crowded Democratic primary last week after a months-long deliberation that included a five-state road trip across the American south-west, which he journaled in “Dear diary”- style posts on Medium. His rhetorical style and charismatic message has drawn comparisons to Barack Obama, but he has met resistance among some progressive activists who are critical of his ambiguity on policy.

Small-dollar donations are increasingly important to Democratic candidates as the party escalates its battle against big money in politics. For the first time, the Democratic National Committee has established a grassroots fundraising threshold to participate in the party’s televised primary debates.

Despite hinting on the campaign trail this weekend that he may not want to release his totals, O’Rourke’s $6.1m haul sets him apart in a sprawling field that has swelled to 17 Democrats.

Sanders entered the race with the largest donor list of any candidate running – one that he developed while running for president in 2016. Even so, he stunned political observers last month when he announced that his campaign had raised $5.9m in his first 24 hours as a presidential candidate.

California senator Kamala Harris raised more than the $1.5m in the first 24 hours of her campaign. Before Sanders entered the race, Harris claimed the biggest first-day fundraising total, which matched what the Vermont senator raised in April 2015 after he launched his bid for the nomination that year.

Lesser-known candidates such as Minnesota senator Amy Klobuchar and former Colorado governor John Hickenlooper, each reported earning $1m in the first 48 hours of their campaigns, while Washington governor Jay Inslee said his campaign had raised more than $1 million three days after he entered the race.

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+44 # chapdrum 2019-03-18 12:26
O'Rourke will likely be far easier for Trump to defeat than Sanders.
+15 # Forbes 2019-03-18 17:55
Highly misleading. He had transferred 4.5 million to a fund left over from his failed Senate run a little while ago. It was transferred back to his presidential fund now, so he actually RAISED 1.5 million - no special amount in today's concepts.
+3 # EternalTruth 2019-03-19 14:07
Interesting. If true, this would certainly make me doubt Beto’s integrity.
+11 # rural oregon progressive 2019-03-18 18:17
Missing from this article is an interesting tidbit... It seems that Beto took several million dollars leftover from his failed Senate run, and donated that back to the Texas Democratic party, which promptly funneled that money into his campaign. If these reports are true, the reported "first day haul" did not come from individual donors. Other reports that I have seen indicate that much of the first day money came in the form of "Bundling", which is a tiny step below taking money from PACS. I will be interested in seeing where that reported 6.1 Million actually came from. A more more honest and accurate measurement will come when quarterly fund-raising is reported
-1 # 2019-03-18 18:18
Well, in my opinion, whoever wins the Democratic nomination will easily defeat Trump.
+10 # Ahimsa 2019-03-18 18:20
He is a lightweight, with a shady past. We are not paying close enough attention to see his superficial grandstanding.
+1 # Inspired Citizen 2019-03-18 18:39
There's a Sunday night Fox "News" host who does an excellent, bi-partisan segment called Swamp Watch. He opened with it this week, and it should be widely shared by progressives. Watch it; he respects Bernie Sanders and other Dems that I do not.

Copy and paste this URL in to your browser. Then share it widely.

Beto also has right-wing votes, the host doesn't mention, as one would expect of a Clinton-endorsi ng neo-liberal. Specifically the fast-track (to corporate dystopia) bill Debbie Wasserman Schultz also voted for. He is not progressive. Bernie's "establishment" has a market-focused, neo-liberal political philosophy.

The Trans-Pacific Partnership exposed these Wall St/Big Oil-backed politicians as a greater threat to democratic self-government and national self-determinat ion than anyone Trump has selected for SCOTUS judge so far. (Con man Trump's USMCA has neo-liberal elements, but fewer than NAFTA does.)

His young followers need to be disabused of their preference for good looks and charisma.
+11 # chrisconno 2019-03-18 18:41
I supported O'Rourke against Ted Cruz but don't trust him enough to hand him the White House. Bernie has my vote for provable reasons. O'Rourke has too little a track record and Bernie's is stellar.
+4 # jon 2019-03-18 20:10
He doesn't have the experience, depth, consistency, or seasoning, not to mention the proven creativity, and progressive track record, to match Bernie Sanders. Given the seriousness of our present situation, Beto might make a viable VP running mate with Bernie, at best. One thing for absolutely certain, given the threat of Putin, and thirty years of FOX News, etc. brain-washing, this is no time for xperimentation with anything less than what Bernie brings to the table.

I still say that Elizabeth Warren - I have been her supporter since I first saw her interviewed by Bill Moyers a long time ago - should be the Senate Majority Leader. Add Nancy Pelosi's expertise in the House and Bernie in the Oval Office, we would be able to restore Democracy.

The good news is the Democrat base is energized by a bunch of possible candidates that makes the field that opposed Trump in the 2016 primaries appear somnambulant.
+6 # Thomas Martin 2019-03-18 20:30
I like Beto a lot, but I think this reporting stinks. Beto raised $6.1 M on his first day of fundraising, and Bernie raised $5.9 M on the day he announced his candidacy last month ... yet Beto "Smashed" Bernie?
+7 # Jude 2019-03-18 22:25
The numbers of donors have since been released, and Sanders’ donors outnumber O'Rourke’s. And if every donor represents a vote….
+7 # swissms 2019-03-18 22:28
I very much want to know where Beto's $6.1 million campaign contributions came from, because as a mainstream Des candidate, I can guarantee it wasn't from the grassroots.
+1 # SenorN 2019-03-18 23:05
Electability has to be the #1 criterion for whatever candidate we put up against Trump.
That consideration aside, I would definitely prefer Bernie. His one weakness, his age, is excused by Trump's and he has proven himself over decades to be a man of compassionate principles and unwavering commitment.
On the other hand, I imagine O'Rourke could win Texas. If he did that, the Dems would definitely win the White House in the absence of a serious, progressive 3rd party candidate.
+3 # librarian1984 2019-03-19 15:38
Why would you think he'd win TX when he just LOST to Ted Cruz in TX?
+2 # rural oregon progressive 2019-03-19 21:49
Preciesely, librarian! That is what is so nuts about the Beto Bros (sorry) insistence that Beto can somehow beat Trump in Texas. How can you expect him to beat Trump in Texas when Trump won Texas overwhelmingly, and Beto could not even beat Cruz. It makes no logical sense whatsoever, or any other kind of sense for that matter!
+8 # jimallyn 2019-03-18 23:21
No, he didn't raise 6.1 million dollars in the first 24 hours. He had 4.5 million left over from his Senate campaign, and that was laundered through the Dem party. So, the actual take from real people was only a million and a half, a long, long ways from what Sanders raised.
+7 # EternalTruth 2019-03-18 23:53
So, beating the record of 5.9 with 6.1 is “smashing” the old record? Okay.
+9 # RLF 2019-03-19 05:21
O'Roarke is another DINO...fake, corporate hack! The only state that would consider him progressive is Texas!
+12 # SusanT136 2019-03-19 07:18
Beto is not a visionary, and I believe a visionary is what the Democratic Party, and America, needs right now. I believe his popularity is due more to style than substance; he’s been compared to a young Kennedy. But his support for Medicare for all is peppered by claims that we have to get there slowly. This does not bode well for American citizens. He will take baby steps to correct the dire problems our society is facing like climate change and health care costs.

We need a visionary. We need Bernie.
-2 # MidwestDick 2019-03-19 13:51
I am glad that Beto is in it. He adds a unique perspective on immigration and the border to the conversation. I only hope this campaign focuses on educating and improving the voter base by eschewing personal attacks and horse-race electability tropes and discussing issues, issues, issues.