While Ms. Harris, Mr. Biden and Mr. Buttigieg have kept up a particularly aggressive schedule of high-dollar fund-raisers with $1,000 entry prices, Mr. O’Rourke has only held a handful of such events — and had held none until halfway through the quarter. Mr. O’Rourke recently named his first national finance director, poaching a fund-raiser who had left the flagging campaign of former Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper, who raised just more than $1.1 million.
On Monday, potential donors to Mr. O’Rourke were invited to a New York fund-raiser next week.
Mr. O’Rourke has continued to draw crowds on the campaign trail, but he has searched aloud for an answer to why he — a white, former three-term congressman — is best positioned for and deserving of the presidency. On Sunday, in an unusual note to supporters, he revealed that he and his wife are descendants of slave owners, while writing he would “support reparations.”
“I benefit from a system that my ancestors built to favor themselves at the expense of others,” he wrote in a note that appeared timed to the publication of an article in The Guardian about his ancestry.
There do not appear to be enough big or small donors to support all the Democratic candidates financially. Already one candidate, Representative Eric Swalwell of California, has dropped out. Another, Representative Tim Ryan of Ohio, reported raising less than $900,000 — far less than needed to run a viable national campaign.
Other candidates who have announced their fund-raising totals include Senator Michael Bennet of Colorado ($2.8 million), the entrepreneur Andrew Yang ($2.8 million) and Gov. Steve Bullock of Montana ($2 million).
A super PAC supporting Mr. Booker said it had raised only $1.125 million so far in 2019, far below expectations. Its founder, Steve Phillips, had claimed last December in an interview that he had $4 million in commitments. The bulk of the money, $1 million, came from Mr. Phillips’s wife, Susan Sandler.