When Beto O’Rourke recent announced his run for the 2020 United States presidential race, he was not considered a frontrunner. The Democratic field for the 2020 presidential election was already historically crowded with countless bigger names.
However, that has now changed, literally overnight – as O’Rourke managed to raise a record-breaking $6.1 million in the first 24 hours of his candidacy. Notably, this even puts O’Rourke in front of Bernie Sanders, who himself set a record when his candidacy raised $5.9 million last month.
Losing Texas gave O’Rourke a shot at winning the United States
The Democratic Representative Robert ”Beto” O’Rourke first rose to international fame when he ran against the Republican incumbent Ted Cruz during the 2018 US midterm elections, in a bid to win a Texas Senate seat.
Although O’Rourke ultimately failed in winning the conservative Lone Star state for the Democrats, he arguably came closer than anyone could have predicted. In fact, O’Rourke and Cruz were tied for one of the closest Senate races in modern Texan history, with O’Rourke ultimately capturing 48.3% of the total vote, compared to incumbent Cruz’s 50.9%.
Nevertheless, going neck-to-neck with a conservative incumbent in a deep-red state despite being a Democrat arguably constituted a moral victory for O’Rourke. Although he lost the Texas Senate race, he was propelled to international prominence and gained a following throughout the United States.
This is why it was perhaps not too surprising that O’Rourke last week announced a far more ambitious candidacy – namely for that of the president of the United States. What was surprising, however, was the massive amount of funds raised by O’Rourke.
O’Rourke raised more funds than Bernie Sanders
In fact, O’Rourke raised a record-shattering $6.1 million in the first 24 hours of his campaign. It is also worth pointing out that O’Rourke, like other Democrats, has refused accepting funds from special interest lobby groups or corporations.
O’Rourke’s massive $6.1 million haul surpassed even Senator Bernie Sanders’ recent fundraising record of $5.9 million, set just last month.
Moreover, Sanders had the benefit of his relatively recent 2016 campaign for president, during which he amassed a loyal grassroots following. O’Rourke and Sanders are, however, in a league of their own when it comes to fundraising.
Their runner-up in terms of funds raised, California Senator Kamala Harris, also enjoyed a sizable haul of $1.5 million. However, it should be noted that money is not everything in a presidential race, and there are plenty of other candidates with star power.
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For example, Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren is another of the top names in the Democratic starting field for the 2020 presidential race. In addition to that, the elephant in the room is the potential candidacy of former Vice President Joe Biden.
Although Biden has yet to announce his candidacy, he has polled remarkably favorably all across the United States. Moreover, Biden recently slipped up during an event in his home state of Delaware and seemingly confirmed he is indeed running in 2020.
Nonetheless, the Democratic starting field for the 2020 presidential election is crowded to say the least – with a whopping 15 Democrats who have already announced their candidacies, and likely more on the way.
It remains to be seen what candidates come out on top as the 2020 Democratic Party presidential primaries near, and who eventually becomes the Democratic Party’s nominee.
However, whatever the outcome, Democratic candidates will now likely take O’Rourke’s presidential candidacy far more serious than before his historic $6.1 million fundraising effort.
Rasmus Pihl is a writer for Toshi Times by day and an avid follower of the blockchain industry by night. Rasmus holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Marketing from the Gothenburg School of Business, Economics, and Law and runs a Swedish marketing consulting firm. Moreover, when he isn’t writing for Toshi Times, traveling, working or changing the world in some other capacity, Rasmus is more than likely caught up in postgraduate studies.