Kamala Harris raises $2 million in 24 hours after breakout debate
California Sen. Kamala Harris’ presidential campaign announced Saturday that it raised $2 million in 24 hours following her breakout moment in Thursday’s 2020 Democratic debate.
The donations came from more than 63,000 people — over half of those, 58%, were first time donors, according to the campaign.
The average contribution was $30, the campaign said.
The campaign said it was its single best fundraising day since Harris launched her bid in January.
“We have momentum,” said Lily Adams, Harris’ communications director. “After her dominant debate performance, where she proved she is the candidate best suited to prosecute the case against four more years of Donald Trump, supporters across this country are fueling our campaign because they saw her empathy, her passion, and her direct focus on the issues that keep people up at night.”
The campaign said it also quadrupled its share of donations from the first four voting states: Iowa, New Hampshire, Nevada and South Carolina.
The fundraising haul comes after the highlight moment for Harris in the debate, where she delivered a direct attack against the early frontrunner for the Democratic nomination, former Vice President Joe Biden.
Harris confronted Biden on his record against busing to desegregate schools and comments earlier this month about his ability to be civil and work with segregationist senators.
“I do not believe you are a racist and I agree with you when you commit yourself to the importance of finding common ground,” Harris said to Biden. “But I also believe and it’s personal and it was hurtful to hear you talk about the reputations of two United States senator who is built their reputations and career on the segregation of race in this country.”
“It was not only that…” she continued. “There was a little girl in California who was part of the second class to integrate her public schools and she was bused to school every day. That little girl was me.”
Biden accused Harris of “mischaracterizing” his record on busing and said he was not praising racists.
CNN political analyst Van Jones praised Harris’ “masterful” debate performance, saying “a star was born” Thursday night. Republican pollster Frank Luntz tweeted that “in just about every way imaginable, Kamala Harris dominated” and was the “most memorable” of the candidates on stage.
Other candidates also reported a fundraising boost from the debates.
Fundraising deadline approaches
The spike in donations comes just ahead of Sunday’s fundraising deadline for the second quarter — a key test for the crowded field of the two dozen candidates vying for their party’s nomination.
Julián Castro’s breakout performance in Wednesday night’s debate helped drive nearly three times the number of donations than the former mayor of San Antonio, Texas, had previously collected on his best fundraising day, his campaign announced this week.
New Jersey Sen. Cory Booker’s campaign said it saw a surge in online fundraising fueled largely by first-time donors after the debate.
The campaign for Washington Gov. Jay Inslee also touted a jump in fundraising post-debate, saying that it saw its best day since he announced his climate-focused 2020 bid.
Other candidates are using the final push to the fundraising deadline to inundate their supporters with emails and texts, asking for contributions.
Another Texan in the race, former Rep. Beto O’Rourke, sent an email Saturday, imploring his supporters to help him reach a $600,000 goal before Sunday’s end-of-quarter deadline.
The Harris campaign said Saturday that fundraising has continued to be strong — at higher levels than before Thursday’s debate.
In April, when the first-quarter fundraising reports were released, Harris had raised $12 million — second only to Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders who reported $18.2 million.
Biden, who jumped into the race in April and has not filed a quarterly fundraising report, revealed earlier this month that his campaign may have raised close to $20 million — surpassing all other candidates.
Biden’s campaign also said it raised $6.3 million in the first 24 hours after launching his campaign, which blew past the other amounts raised by his 2020 rivals.
Sanders raised $5.9 million, O’Rourke raised $6.1 million, while Harris pulled in $1.5 million in their first 24 hours as presidential candidates.
CNN’s Fredreka Schouten contributed to this report.