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Beto O'Rourke breaks one-day fundraising record, beating all Democratic rivals

The former Texas congressman brings in $6.1 million for the 2020 presidential race

Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

Democratic presidential hopeful Beto O'Rourke hauled in an impressive $6.1 million from donors within the first 24 hours of launching his 2020 campaign, beating out Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) to set a new fundraising record.

What are the details?

O'Rourke's campaign received $6,136,763 in online contributions from all 50 states within a day of announcing his candidacy on Thursday, Fortune reported, besting all other 2020 Democratic rivals.

According to Matt Viser of The Washington Post, O'Rourke topped previous record-holder Bernie Sanders who had raised $5.9 million in his first 24 hours. The two fundraising front-runners dwarfed all other candidates in comparison, with Sen. Kamala Harris (Calif.) coming in third at $1.5 million.


NBC News reported that the remaining Democratic candidates have not yet reported their first-day hauls, but are required to issue their first Federal Election Commission disclosures at the end of the month.

In announcing his numbers, O'Rourke released a statement saying, "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."

CNN reported that O'Rourke is deploying the same tactics in his presidential run that he used last year in his failed bid to topple Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas), when he raised a record-shattering $80 million through sophisticated online operations.

Immediately following the launch of his 2020 campaign, O'Rourke began a multi-state road trip through Iowa, Wisconsin, Michigan, Ohio and Pennsylvania.

Anything else?

O'Rourke's fundraising prowess is evident, but he's facing pressure to clarify his policy stances. The Dallas Morning News — which endorsed him over Cruz in the 2018 Senate race — released a scathing editorial after his presidential launch, criticizing O'Rourke for offering few specifics in spite of his ability to rally a crowd.

"He will have a hard time avoiding substantive, detailed policy questions from journalists as well as from his competitors for the Democratic nomination," the paper wrote, citing examples.

On Sunday, the Los Angeles Times' Doyle McManus wrote of O'Rourke, "The most striking thing about the Democrats' newest presidential candidate is that he's so hard to pin down. He'd better come up with some specific proposals and be ready to defend them."

One last thing…
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