(WASHINGTON) — Democratic presidential candidates raised about $75 million during the first quarter of the 2020 election, a lackluster sum spread out across more than a dozen campaigns that signals a drawn-out battle likely lies ahead.
Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders led the field by raising $18 million and California Sen. Kamala Harris came in second with $12 million. Former Texas Rep. Beto O’Rourke came in third with $9.3 million, followed by South Bend, Indiana, Mayor Pete Buttigieg, who capitalized on a flurry of publicity to raise $7 million.
The rest of the field of more than a dozen candidates raised $6 million or less apiece.
Fundraising figures submitted to the Federal Election Commission by Monday’s reporting deadline show Democratic candidates not only lag behind President Donald Trump, who raised $30 million, but took in less than the party did during the same period in the 2008 election. That year eight candidates collectively raised over $80 million despite a maximum donation amount that was hundreds of dollars less than the current $2,800 cap.
Part of the difficulty is many donors are staying on the sidelines, waiting for the field to thin. At the same time, low-dollar contributions from party’s base, a source of money that helped Democrats retake the House last year, haven’t made up the difference.
“There is no question that the numbers are not at the level that they were with Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton in 2008,” said Tom Nides, a Clinton adviser and longtime fundraiser. “Am I worried? No, I’m not worried. But I’m a little bit concerned.”
The dynamic could change rapidly in the months ahead as Democrats participate in the first presidential debate of the cycle in June. Donors could look to those performances to decide where to direct their money. Former Vice President Joe Biden’s expected White House campaign also could scramble the situation.
“Biden is probably going to run, and he is going to raise a boatload of money. He just will. And then the overall numbers will start to look better,” said Tim Lim, a digital strategist and fundraiser who worked for Obama and Clinton.
Outside of the fundraising front-runners comes Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren, who raised $6 million, Minnesota Sen. Amy Klobuchar with $5.2 million and New Jersey Sen. Cory Booker, who raised $5 million. New York Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand raised $3 million, while Washington Gov. Jay Inslee raised $2.2 million, former Colorado Gov. John …read more
Source:: Time – Politics