Bernie Could Be On Track To Outpace Beto In Fundraising

A supporter greets Beto O'Rourke at his campaign kickoff rally in El Paso on Saturday
A supporter greets Beto O'Rourke at his campaign kickoff rally in El Paso on Saturday. Lynda Gonzalez for KUT
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06 April, 2019

The former congressman's fundraising haul reveals he brought in the most money per day of any presidential hopeful who has announced an estimate of his or her first quarter fundraising total, raking in roughly $522,000 per day.

The O'Rourke camp boasted that the 46-year-old has been the "highest per-day" fundraiser in the crowded Democratic field.

Obama's massive $25.7 million haul was a reported as a massive victory for the IL senator and a major blow to Clinton, who had hoped to crush her competition in total fundraising.

Candidates are required by law to track and disclose their fundraising reports to the Federal Election Commission, and those donations collected in the first quarter - between January 1 to March 31 - must be reported by April 15.

Additionally, the Democratic National Committee has said a candidate must have raised money from 65,000 different donors in order to qualify for the first debate to be held on June 26 and 27.

Then there's the fact that the early favorite in 2020 polls, former Vice President Joe Biden, hasn't declared his candidacy yet, further disincentivizing potential donors to back a candidate. Harris is the only candidate of that group to release her fundraising totals. Interestingly enough, Biden failed to raise substantial dollars in the first quarter of the 2008 presidential election cycle. That means O'Rourke's fundraising slowed considerably after raising $6 million in the campaign's first 24 hours, but donations did spike in the last weekend of the quarter. Plus, he did it with more small donors than any other candidate so far, leading the pack among the sought-after demographic.

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O'Rourke raised $9.4 million in just 18 days, giving him the best per-day average of any candidate.

In her first quarter as a candidate ahead of 2016, Clinton topped US$45m. She has just $1.3 million to transfer to her presidential campaign. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) and Kamala Harris (D-CA), who raised $18.2 million and $12 million respectively for the race.

It's not surprising Buttigieg announced his fundraising totals first.

As impressive as Sanders' fundraising has been, it's not as large as previous presidential contenders who were more reliant on big donors. Sanders' campaign says the senator got 88% of his money from donors who contributed $200 or less.

"Not only is this a sign of our grassroots strength during the first two weeks of our campaign, but it is a sign of what's possible when you put your full trust in the people of this country", Mr. O'Rourke said in a news release. Yang is the only Democrat to have fundraising numbers from 2018 - he raised $354,477 before the end of the year.


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