We’ve seen numbers for the first quarter from Pete Buttigieg, Bernie Sanders, and Kamala Harris. As of today, we’ve finally gotten a glimpse into the money being raised by Beto O’Rourke, a prolific fundraiser during his time running for a Texas Senate seat against Republican Ted Cruz last year.

For the O’Rourke team, the numbers did not disappoint considering Beto waited longer than other candidates before entering the race, meaning he had fewer days before the quarter ended on March 31.

So far, he raised less than Bernie, but he outpaced him on the daily fundraising average:

O’Rourke reported raising $9.4 million in the first quarter of the year at an average contribution of $43 a pop — well short of Sanders’ $18 million and the $12 million Sen. Kamala Harris, D-Calif., said she raised.

But O’Rourke’s campaign noted that the Texan entered the race much later than the others, giving him only 18 days to fundraise before the March 31 deadline, compared with the 41 days Sanders had between his February launch and the end of the quarter or Harris’ 70 days following her January announcement.

O’Rourke raised about $522,000 per day, a faster clip than Sanders’ roughly $440,00 dollar-per-day rate or Harris’ approximately $170,000 per day.

Bernie was like a machine in 2016 when it came to raising money, and he pulled in a ton of it with dedicated donors who repeatedly gave, mostly in small amounts, during the entire campaign.

Beto O’Rourke had a similar appeal in Texas, raising more money than any U.S. Senate candidate in history. By all accounts, it appears that his donor base has followed him to his Presidential campaign and he has continued maintaining a connection with his supporters that some candidates can only fantasize about.

Beto’s numbers are impressive for the short amount of time he was in the campaign, but looking at the details does show some potential weakness, according to Business Insider:

Based on the campaign’s total, roughly two-thirds of O’Rourke’s haul came on the first day. The campaign raised $6.1 million in the first 24 hours since O’Rourke’s announcement, which means $3.3 million was raised over the next 17 days.

If two-thirds of Beto’s total was raised on the first day, that means his numbers could be substantially slowing and we won’t know how much until the end of the second quarter. As it stands now, he’s got a great headline and bragging rights about raising the most money per day out of all the candidates who have reported so far.

We’re still waiting for more numbers from the rest of the field, as noted:

With O’Rourke and Sanders’ numbers released, Democratic insiders are now most eager to see the results by the other best-known candidates, such as Sen. Cory Booker, D-N.J., and Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., a one-time online fundraising juggernaut whose campaign has downplayed expectations in the wake of the controversy involving her Native American heritage.

From early indicators, it doesn’t seem like Booker, Warren, or Klobuchar will be putting up huge numbers that will rival the top three or four candidates. There’s only so much to go around right now with such a splintered field, and voters may be holding out to see how each candidate fares in the debates.

April 15 is the reporting deadline for all campaigns to have their detailed first quarter fundraising reports to the FEC.

3 COMMENTS

  1. I read that Beto O’Rourke transferred substantial leftover funds (i.e. millions) from his Senate campaign to his Presidential campaign when he first announced. If this is the case and if such transferred funds are being counted as funds raised, it would account for the high early figure reported for him.

    • Thanks for the tip I’ll look into this but I doubt those funds are being included since the full fundraising reports would show the origin of funds. If he was counting rolled over money his fundraising amounts would be suspect.

  2. “despite Mr. Sanders’s advantages, Mr. O’Rourke’s campaign touted, loudly, that he actually had out-raised Mr. Sanders in his first 24 hours as a candidate: $6.1 million to $6 million. But the new federal disclosures show that Mr. O’Rourke relied upon a bit of accounting finesse to score that headline: Nearly $300,000 of his first-day haul was actually general-election funds raised above the limit that he can spend in the primary contest.”
    https://www.nytimes.com/2019/04/16/us/politics/democrats-2020-fundraising.html?searchResultPosition=1

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