Steve Bullock raises $1 million in first 24 hours, campaign says

Montana governor's donations covered all 50 states

By Dan Merica, CNN
Yellowstone National Park via Wikimedia Commons

Gov. Steve Bullock (D-MT) at Yellowstone National Park on Aug. 25, 2016.

(CNN) - Montana Gov. Steve Bullock raised $1 million from donors in all 50 states in the 24 hours after he launched his 2020 presidential bid, his campaign announced Wednesday.

Not included in the release: The number of donors who donated to Bullock's campaign, a figure that will be key to the Montana Democrat's ability to make the first Democratic primary debate in June.

"Gov. Steve Bullock has a proven record, long-held progressive values and a powerful vision to take big money out of politics that is already resonating with Americans in all 50 states," said Jenn Ridder, Bullock's campaign manager.

Ridder added that the campaign will have "an aggressive on-the-ground operation, digital-first approach, and nationwide grassroots support."

First day fundraising hauls are often touted by campaigns as a sign of strength out of the gate. Former Vice President Joe Biden's campaign announced that it raised $6.3 million in the first day, putting him at the top of the field ahead of Sen. Bernie Sanders, who raised $5.9 million in the first day, and former Rep. Beto O'Rourke, who raised $6.1 million. Sen. Kamala Harris raised $1.5 million in the first 24 hours.

Bullock's haul, while not as large as those touted by Biden, Sanders or O'Rourke, puts him among some a number of other top Democrats running for the party's nomination.

Bullock's ability to raise money and garner online support will be critical to his campaign's success. In order to make it to the debate stage, Bullock will need meet guidelines laid out by the Democratic National Committee, which outlined that candidates must meet either a polling threshold -- which Bullock has yet to hit -- or a fundraising threshold of 65,000 unique donors.

Galia Slayen, Bullock's spokeswoman, said the campaign would have more detailed numbers about the governor's fundraising "soon."

"The amount of time Gov. Bullock has been in this race is more accurately measured in hours, not days or weeks or months," Slayen said. "People have supported this campaign from 50 states and we'll have better breakdowns of those numbers soon."

Bullock entered the race on Tuesday in his hometown of Helena, Montana, outlining a campaign against politics in Washington, DC, and partisanship. Bullock plans to run as a progressive who has a proven track record in a state that President Donald Trump won by more than 20 percentage points in 2016, the same year the governor won re-election.

But his entrance is far later than many of his Democratic colleagues, many of whom entered the race in early 2019. Bullock waited to formally announce a run because the Montana state legislature, who wrapped up its work weeks ago, meets once every two years and Bullock believed he "had a job to do."

But the late entrance means Bullock will be rushing to garner enough donor support to qualify for the debates.

"On the one hand, it may seem to put me at a disadvantage, but I will be out traveling, talking and listening but all I can do is count on both the voters to tune in," Bullock told CNN before his launch. "And as we look at this debate stage, I think that I am already qualified in two or three polls and would hope they are polling some in the next month and we will see."

In a conversation with reporters, Bullock said he "hopes to" qualify, but "either way, I'll be talking to folks."

"I think the debate stage would be lacking a bit if you didn't have somebody that actually got re-elected in a state that Donald Trump won," he added.

Bullock makes his first trip to Iowa on Thursday.

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