Five 2020 Democrats Rise to the Top Amid Second Quarter Fundraising

Five 2020 Democrats Rise to the Top Amid Second Quarter Fundraising

The five Democratic candidates who top the polls in recent months are also pulling away from the rest of the pack when it comes to fundraising.

South Bend, Ind., Mayor Pete Buttigieg led all candidates with nearly $25 million raised, while former Vice President Joe Biden raked in nearly $22 million. Sens. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) and Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) respectively raised $19.1 million and $18 million. Sen. Kamala Harris (D-Calif.) came in fifth at $11.8 million.

After Harris, the next-best candidate was Sen. Cory Booker (D-N.J.), who raised $4.5 million during the second quarter.

Among the leading candidates, Warren brought in the most from donors whose contributions totaled less than $200, with $12.7 million. Her campaign announced earlier this month that it had more than 384,000 unique donors during the three-month period.

Warren’s strong fundraising period came after a lackluster first quarter, when her paltry $6 million led many to question whether her strategy of eschewing events with large donors was a viable way to run a campaign.

The Massachusetts senator, who transferred more than $10 million from her Senate campaign during the first quarter, ended June with $19 million in cash on hand, trailing only Buttigieg and Sanders in that regard.

Buttigieg, whose fundraising numbers surprised many, performed well with large and small donors alike. He raised the most of any candidate from contributors who gave more than $200, but he drew $10.9 million from donors who gave less than that cutoff, a total that trails only Warren and Sanders. The South Bend mayor had $22.7 million in cash on hand at the end of June.

Sanders, who transferred $7.6 million from his previous federal campaigns this quarter and raised $18 million during the previous period, led all candidates in second-quarter spending at $14 million. The Vermont senator still finished the quarter with more than $27 million in the bank, the most of any candidate.

Harris ended June with $13.2 million, while Biden, who did not jump into the race until late April, sits behind the other top fundraisers with only $10.9 million in the bank.

Former Rep. Beto O’Rourke (D-Texas) had a disappointing quarter, raising just $3.6 million. O’Rourke, whose charisma during his challenge to Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) in last year’s Senate race captured the attention of Democrats nationally, had raised $6.1 million in the first 24 hours of his campaign in March.

Meanwhile, fellow Texan and former Secretary of Housing and Urban Development Julián Castro raised $2.8 million during the quarter. Castro also led all candidates in terms of percentage raised from small donors, with 74 percent of his funds coming from individuals who gave less than $200.

Castro’s campaign announced last week that it had reached 130,000 donors, one of the requirements to make the Democrats’ primary debate stage in September.

Other candidates who will likely make the September debate stage include Booker, O’Rourke, Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.) and entrepreneur Andrew Yang. Klobuchar raised $3.8 million during the second quarter. Yang raised $2.8 million, 70 percent of which came from small-dollar donors.

All four candidates, however, were among those who spent more than they took in during the second quarter. Booker, O’Rourke and Klobuchar all have at least $5 million in cash on hand due to strong first quarter fundraising and transfers from other federal committees, but Yang was left with just $850,000 at the end of June.

Govs. Steve Bullock (D-Mont.) and Jay Inslee (D-Wash.) and Sens. Michael Bennet (D-Colo.) and Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.) are all questionable for the debate stage in September. The four candidates all raised between $2 million and $3.5 million during the second quarter, but each has struggled to hit 2 percent in polls, the other requirement for the fall debate.

Gillibrand, who transferred nearly $10 million from her Senate committee to her presidential campaign during the first quarter, sits comfortably with more than $8 million cash on hand as of June 30. Bennet has $2.1 million on hand, while both Inslee and Bullock have less than $1.5 million.