O'Rourke raises $9.4 million in 18 days during first quarter

Beto O’RourkeBeto O’RourkeBiden will help close out Texas Democrats’ virtual convention: report O’Rourke on Texas reopening: ‘Dangerous, dumb and weak’ Parties gear up for battle over Texas state House MORE announced on Wednesday that he raised $9.4 million in less than three weeks during the first quarter of 2019, a sum that reinforces the former Texas congressman’s reputation as one of the top fundraisers in the 2020 Democratic field.

Unlike other 2020 hopefuls, who have been campaigning for weeks and months, O’Rourke raked in the seven-figure haul in only 18 days, amounting to an average of about $520,000 per day, his campaign said.

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O’Rourke’s first-quarter haul came from 218,000 contributions, with an average donation size of $43, according to his campaign. Ninety-nine percent of the contributions to O’Rourke campaign were made online.

“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,” O’Rourke said in a statement.

O’Rourke has already established himself as one of the Democratic Party’s most prolific fundraisers. In the 24 hours after announcing his White House bid last month, his campaign said he raised a staggering $6.1 million — the largest single-day haul of any 2020 hopeful so far.

The fundraising announcement came a day after another established fundraiser, Sen. Bernie SandersBernie SandersThe Hill’s 12:30 Report: Milley apologizes for church photo-op Harris grapples with defund the police movement amid veep talk Biden courts younger voters — who have been a weakness MORE (I-Vt.), announced that his campaign had raised more than $18 million for his presidential bid in the first quarter of the year.

Another 2020 hopeful, Sen. Kamala HarrisKamala Devi HarrisRand Paul introduces bill to end no-knock warrants The Hill’s Campaign Report: Biden campaign goes on offensive against Facebook McEnany says Juneteenth is a very ‘meaningful’ day to Trump MORE (D-Calif.), revealed this week that she had raised $12 million in the first three months of 2019.

Meanwhile, Pete ButtigiegPete ButtigiegScaled-back Pride Month poses challenges for fundraising, outreach Biden hopes to pick VP by Aug. 1 It’s as if a Trump operative infiltrated the Democratic primary process MORE, the mayor of South Bend, Ind., said he raised $7 million in the first quarter.

Andrew YangAndrew YangGeorge Floyd protests show corporations must support racial and economic equality Andrew Yang discusses his universal basic income pilot program Andrew Yang on the George Floyd protests in Minneapolis MORE, a former tech executive who is running a long-shot bid for the White House, said Tuesday that he raised $1.7 million in the first quarter.

The fundraising totals and the number of people who contributed to the campaigns are significant because they are seen as signs of grass-roots support and enthusiasm.

Candidates have until April 15 to report their fundraising totals for the first quarter of 2019 to the Federal Election Commission, although they can choose to release the numbers on their own.

By putting out their fundraising totals early, candidates are hoping to project political strength and long-term viability in what is expected to be a long and expensive primary contest. With the Iowa caucuses still 10 months away, candidates will need to amass significant amounts of cash to keep their campaigns afloat.

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O’Rourke earned a reputation as a strong fundraiser last year, when he raked in more than $8 million for his closely watched though ultimately unsuccessful challenge to Sen. Ted CruzRafael (Ted) Edward CruzSenate advances public lands bill in late-night vote The Hill’s Morning Report – Trump’s public standing sags after Floyd protests GOP senators introduce resolution opposing calls to defund the police MORE (R-Texas). That massive haul was among the factors that fueled perceptions of O’Rourke as a possible presidential contender.

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