Beto Breaks First Day Fundraising Totals

Barbara Schwarz
March 18, 2019 - 4:14 pm
Beto O'Rourke

AP Photo/Kathy Willens

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DALLAS (1080 KRLD) - It seems there's one thing Beto O'Rourke does better than any other candidate. That's raise money.  

The former congressman from El Paso raked in $6.1 million in the 24 hours after he announced his presidential campaign. That's the largest 24 hour haul than any of the candidates. 

Bernie Sanders raised almost $6 million in his first 24 hours, then it drops down to $1.9 million for Kamala Harris. SMU political scientist Cal Jillson says donors see youth, energy and enthusiasm. 

"And they know that he's light on substance, only three terms in the US Congress. And he will talk more policy as he gets deeper into the race. So right now, they're just willing to give him a look. They are not promising long-term support."

Jillson says O'Rourke has already stumbled a few times and he is capable of making mistakes, but he's also got that energy and enthusiasm a lot of people are attracted to. "And raising $6.1 million dollars in the first 24 hours is impressive, but he didn't give that number for the first three days. You would have thought he would have touted it immediately."

He says O'Rourke invokes fear in Republicans and other Democrats, and that it is no surprise that stories of O'Rourke's past as a member of a hacking group surfaced right after he announced. President Trump commented on O'Rourke's video announcement.

"I think the Trump people see Joe Biden with all of his experience as a significant threat to the president, and Beto O'Rourke who has much less experience but a lot more energy and personality."

O'Rourke outraised senator Ted Cruz by a more than two to one margin in O'Rourke's failed 2018 senate bid.