When he ran against Ted Cruz for the Senate, Beto O'Rourke generated a huge amount of support from grass-roots fundraising. As a presidential candidate, he appears to be starting off the same way. O'Rourke's campaign said Monday he had raised $6.1 million in the first 24 hours after his launch, edging Bernie Sanders' $5.9 million to lead all candidates, reports the New York Times. The campaign says the money came from online contributions from all 50 states and "without a dime" from PACs or corporate interests, per the AP. Official figures won't be made public until April 15.
O'Rourke's rollout wasn't without its hiccups, however, as he found himself walking back a joke about his wife in regard to child-raising and apologizing for his writings as a youth. Still, the financial numbers put him and Sanders firmly at the head of the pack in terms of fundraising. For example, Sen. Kamala Harris reported raising $1.5 million in her first 24 hours and Sen. Amy Klobuchar $1 million in her first 48 hours. (Meanwhile, Joe Biden keeps dropping hints he'll enter the race soon.)