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 SandersGloves come off as Democrats fight for House seat in California Senate Democrats pump brakes on new stimulus checks The Hill's Coronavirus Report: Unemployment claims now at 41 million with 2.1 million more added to rolls; Topeka mayor says cities don't have enough tests for minorities and homeless communities 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 HarrisMinneapolis erupts for third night, as protests spread, Trump vows retaliation The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Facebook - George Floyd's death sparks protests, National Guard activation Police killing in Minneapolis puts new scrutiny on Biden pick MORE (D-Calif.), revealed this week that she had raised $12 million in the first three months of 2019.

Meanwhile, Pete ButtigiegPete ButtigiegBiden hopes to pick VP by Aug. 1 It's as if a Trump operative infiltrated the Democratic primary process Here's how Biden can win over the minority vote and the Rust Belt MORE, the mayor of South Bend, Ind., said he raised $7 million in the first quarter.

Andrew YangAndrew YangIt's as if a Trump operative infiltrated the Democratic primary process Hillicon Valley: Facebook permanently shifting thousands of jobs to remote work | Congressional action on driverless cars hits speed bump during pandemic | Republicans grill TikTok over data privacy concerns The Hill's Coronavirus Report: Mnuchin sees 'strong likelihood' of another relief package; Warner says some businesses 'may not come back' at The Hill's Advancing America's Economy summit 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.

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 CruzOn The Money: Trump signs order targeting social media firms' legal protections | 2M more Americans file new jobless claims, pushing total past 40M | White House to forgo summer economic forecast amid COVID-19, breaking precedent Trump signs order targeting social media firms' legal protections Overnight Defense: Trump ends sanctions waivers for Iran nuclear projects | Top Dems says State working on new Saudi arms sale | 34-year-old Army reservist ID'd as third military COVID-19 death MORE (R-Texas). That massive haul was among the factors that fueled perceptions of O’Rourke as a possible presidential contender.