Campaigns

Beto O’Rourke breaks presidential fundraising record with $6.1 million haul

Texas Democrat on campaign swing through states Trump won in 2016 after launching campaign Friday

Democratic presidential candidate Beto O'Rourke shakes hands as he arrives at a St. Patrick’s Day party in Dubuque, Iowa, on Saturday. (Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

Beto O’Rourke raised a record-breaking $6.1 million in the first 24 hours after announcing his presidential campaign on Friday.

The former Texas Democratic congressman collected $6,136,763 from donors in every U.S. state and territory, his campaign announced in a news release Monday.

That mark eclipses the previous record set by Democratic Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont, who raised just under $6 million in the first 24 hours after announcing his campaign in February.

“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,” O’Rourke said in a statement.

O’Rourke and Sanders have established themselves as elite grassroots campaigners, raising record-breaking amounts of cash while eschewing money from corporate PACs.

Their numbers far outpace their 2020 Democratic primary counterparts.

Sen. Kamala Harris of California reported raising $1.5 million in the 24 hours after her January rollout. Sanders raised that sum in four hours.

It took Sen. Amy Klobuchar 48 hours to hit the $1 million mark after her Minnesota announcement in February.

It’s unclear how the fundraising numbers of other senators in the race  stack up.

Sens. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts, Cory Booker of New Jersey and Kirsten Gillibrand of New York have provided few details about their early contributions.

That picture will come into focus after they file their first-quarter Federal Election Commission reports at the end of March.

O’Rourke smashed records in his ultimately unsuccessful 2018 Texas Senate race against Sen. Ted Cruz. He raised nearly $79 million over the course of the cycle — the highest mark for any Senate race in U.S. history. Almost half of that money flooded in between July and September of 2018 alone, also a record.

O’Rourke’s campaign playbook is apparently to focus on winning the midwestern states that flipped to President Donald Trump after voting in 2012 for Barack Obama.

O’Rourke visited 13 counties in Iowa last week, eight of which broke for Trump in 2016 after voting for Obama.

He spoke in Wisconsin over the weekend and will take his campaign to Michigan, Ohio and Pennsylvania — all Trump states — before heading to New Hampshire.

Emily Kopp contributed to this report.

Watch: Trump and Beto O'Rourke strike contrasting messages in dueling Texas rallies

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