O'Rourke says 128,000 donors gave to his campaign in first day

CLAREMONT, N.H. — Beto O’Rourke said Wednesday that the $6.1 million he raised in the first 24 hours of his campaign came from more than 128,000 donors, for an average contribution of about $47.

By contrast, the $6 million that Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) raised in the first 24 hours of his campaign came from 220,000 donors, for an average of about $27.

O’Rourke’s $6.1 million total, announced earlier this week, firmly established the Texas Democrat as a top-tier contender in the Democratic primary.

But immediately after O’Rourke announced he had surpassed Sanders’ total, critics of the former Texas congressman began demanding that he demonstrate his contributions — like Sanders’ — came from a large number of small donors. O’Rourke’s announcement followed two days of demurrals from O’Rourke about the average size of his donations, a common measure of the breadth of a candidate’s appeal

“We were so fortunate to receive so much help in the first 24 hours of this campaign — more than 128,000 unique contributions made in the first 24 hours from every state in the country, $47 was the average contribution,” O’Rourke told reporters after an event here. “All of it came from people. Not a dime from PACs or lobbyists. It helps us on our way to becoming the largest grassroots campaign this country has ever seen.”

After announcing his candidacy last week, O’Rourke was expected to campaign throughout New Hampshire on Wednesday and Thursday, visiting all 10 counties in the first-in-the-nation primary state. The former congressman completed a spate of appearances throughout Iowa and the Rust Belt before arriving in New Hampshire on Tuesday night, rallying several hundred students at Keene State College.

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