Presidential hopefuls in the increasingly narrow Democratic field began announcing fundraising totals for the third quarter of 2019 — a key sign of whether they’ll have the bank to last before the first ballots are cast in the early caucuses in February.
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Candidates have been sending out dire pleas heading into these final days, pushing out a cascade of fundraising emails and running ad blitzes on social media.
The close of books of the third fundraising quarter also comes on the heels of House Democrats’ impeachment inquiry into President Donald Trump, which helped fuel a last-minute boost to the president’s re-election campaign efforts as well as his 2020 Democratic rivals’ war chests.
Six of the 2020 Democratic presidential hopefuls have dropped out of the race since the last fundraising quarter, and the field could narrow even further as the race enters into a new crucial phase.
The third quarter covered the three months of July, August and September.
the 2019 presidential money race
President Donald Trump’s re-election campaign has another record breaking quarter in fundraising
President Donald Trump speaks during a bilateral meeting with Iraq’s President Barham Salih on the sidelines of the annual United Nations General Assembly in New York City, Sept. 24, 2019.
The Trump campaign, his joint fundraising entities and the Republican National Committee have raised $125 million in the third quarter and ended September with more than $156 million cash on hand, an RNC official told ABC News.
The RNC and the Trump campaign are touting the president’s re-election efforts have twice as much cash on hand as former President Barack Obama’s re-election campaign had at this point in 2011, which is verifiable through campaign finance records. By the end of September 2011, Obama’s 2012 campaign had $61.4 million and the Democratic National Committee had $14.7 million, bringing their total to $76 million.
Unlike his Democratic rivals, Trump’s haul includes money raised through the president’s campaign as well as his joint fundraising committees with the Republican National Committee. The Democrats are all currently fundraising without the help of the party committee.
(MORE: Trump campaign drops more than $1 million on Facebook ads in counter impeachment push)
Trump’s latest fundraising haul comes as the campaign and the RNC dig into their counter impeachment efforts — including the campaign’s $8 million cable and digital ad buy targeting former Vice President Joe Biden over the Ukraine controversy and a $2 million television and digital buy from the RNC over the weekend.
Bernie Sanders reinforces his grassroots fundraising prowess with $25.3 million third quarter haul
Despite recent polling that showed his campaign trailing behind some of his 2020 Democratic rivals, the Vermont senator set the tone for third quarter fundraising Tuesday morning, announcing a whopping $25.3 million haul. The number eclipses Sen. Elizabeth Warren’s combined total raised in the first two quarters and leaves Sanders with over $61.5 million in receipts this year.
Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders pauses while speaking at a campaign event, Sept. 29, 2019, in Hanover, N.H.
Sanders has continued a strong grassroots support base, bringing in more than 1.4 million individual contributions this quarter for an average donation of $17.90, according to the campaign. So far this year, the Sanders campaign has received more than 3.3 million donations with an average contribution for the year of $19.
Warren surpasses Biden in latest fundraising haul but falls short of Sanders
Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren released a hefty fundraising haul of $24.6 million on Friday, providing a window into her campaign’s ramped up spending as they head into an increasingly competitive race where they now hold a top spot in the polls.
The numbers show that Warren, who has overcome both Biden and Sanders in a handful of polls over recent weeks, raised almost $10 million more than Biden this quarter. She did not, however, raise as much money as her progressive opponent in the race, Sanders, who out-raised her by a little more than half a million dollars.
Warren also has not closed in on Sanders’ strong donor base: in the last three months, he pulled in 1.4 million donations while Warren secured about 940,000 donations.
Elise Amendola/AP, FILE
Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Elizabeth Warren, waves as she is applauded at a campaign event, Sept. 25, 2019, in Keene, N.H.
Both Warren and Sanders are the only two candidates in the race who are not participating in high-dollar fundraisers and relying only on grassroots support. Between the two of them, they’ve raised nearly $50 million over the last quarter alone.
Warren’s fundraising numbers also showed that her campaign has significantly increased spending, burning through about 76% of the money they’ve brought in. The campaign’s spending rate this quarter was about 20% higher than last quarter, though it’s still not higher than Sanders’ past spending rates and only slightly higher than Biden.
Some of this money went toward Warren’s recent eight-figure investment in advertising in the early-voting states, the largest amount she has spent on ads so far in the campaign. Her campaign is also building out its team in states that will begin to vote in March, as well as in states with key Senate and House races in an effort to win Democratic seats up and down the ballot.
Pete Buttigieg falls short of his second quarter total but remains a strong fundraiser
The South Bend mayor also, who in recent polls lands among the middle tier, announced Tuesday morning that it raised $19.1 million in the third quarter with 182,000 new donors and average donation of $32, slipping from the top fundraiser title he had boasted in the second quarter when he raised $24.8 million.
Pete Buttigieg, South Bend Mayor and Democratic presidential hopeful, speaks at a campaign event in Davenport, Iowa, Sept. 24, 2019.
Buttigieg, who has successfully courted both high-dollar donors as well as small-dollar supporters, however, remains a prominent fundraiser, bringing in a total of more than $51 million this year from more than $1.25 million individual contributions.
Joe Biden trails behind his 2020 rivals in fundraising despite leading in polls
Ethan Miller/Getty Images
Democratic presidential candidate, former U.S. Vice President Joe Biden speaks during the 2020 Gun Safety Forum hosted by gun control activist groups Giffords and March for Our Lives at Enclave, Oct. 2, 2019, in Las Vegas.
Former Vice President Joe Biden’s campaign announced on Thursday that it raised $15.2 million in the third quarter, more than $6 million short of his previous fundraising haul. He’s also trailing behind at least two of his 2020 Democratic contenders, Sanders and Buttigieg, despite consistently leading the polls in the primary field.
According to the campaign, the average donation this quarter was $44 and 56% were first-time donors. The last week of September was the campaign’s best week for its online fundraising since early May, just days after the campaign launched.
The campaign also touted strong grassroots support in the third quarter, boasting that 98% of the donations of less than or equal to $200 came from grassroots donors. That was the case in the previous quarter as well, with 99% of the donations coming from small-dollar donors, but in dollar amounts less than 40% of the total $21.5 million haul from grassroots donations.
Biden’s third quarter receipt brings his fundraising total since launching his campaign in late April — months later than some of his 2020 rivals — to $36.7 million.
Kamala Harris raises $11.6 million in third quarter
Sen. Kamala Harris, D-Calif., announced that she raised $11.6 million with an average donation of $34 between July and September, trailing slightly behind her fundraising from previous two quarters. According to the campaign, the California senator ended the latest quarter with $10 million cash on hand. She is polling toward the middle of the pack of contenders.
Senator Kamala Harris speaks during the 2020 Democratic presidential debate in Houston, Texas, Sept. 12, 2019.
In total, Harris has raised $35.5 million so far this year from more than 850,000 individual contributions.
Andrew Yang raises $10 million in the third quarter – triple his previous quarter’s record
Businessman Andrew Yang’s campaign announced Wednesday morning that it raised a whopping $10 million in the third quarter, more than triple the $2.8 million they raised in the previous quarter.
The latest fundraising haul from the Yang campaign, which has seen a steady surge in the last few months, not only set him apart from some of his lower-polling rivals but also put him ahead of some of the higher-polling candidates, including Booker.
Joe Raedle/Getty Images, FILE
Democratic presidential candidate Andrew Yang speaks to media outside the Knight Concert Hall of the Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts of Miami-Dade County June 26, 2019, in Miami.
According to the campaign, Yang received donations from nearly 300,000 unique donors with an average contribution of $30.18 and entered the fourth quarter with $6.3 million in the bank.
(MORE: Andrew Yang to give $1,000 a month to 10 families as part of his campaign)
Much of Yang’s donations throughout the year have come from small-dollar donations, including this quarter, when nearly 82% of the total haul came from online donations under $200.
Yang, who is polling in the bottom tier, had a particularly strong fundraising support in September, when the campaign set a last-minute fundraising goal similar to that of Booker’s campaign and raised more than $2 million in the last week of the third quarter fundraising deadline.
Cory Booker eclipses Q2 total, raises $6 million in third quarter
Sen. Cory Booker, D-N.J., announced his campaign raised over $6 million in the third quarter, including $2.16 million in the final 10 days of the period. The last minute bump in fundraising stemmed from an internal memo, which was leaked and posted on Medium on Sept. 21, in which Booker’s campaign manager, Addisu Demissie, said the candidate needs to raise $1.7 million by Sept. 30 to be in a position to continue running for president. He has trailed far behind the front-runners in polls.
The third quarter was the best quarter for the campaign, with September being the campaign’s strongest fundraising month.
Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Cory Booker prepares to speak at the Polk County Democrats Steak Fry, Sept. 21, 2019, in Des Moines, Iowa.
(MORE: Sanders sets high bar with $25.3 million Q3 haul, Buttigieg falls short of his Q2)
The campaign noted that the final push included more than 46,000 donations. The third quarter haul represents a more than 30% increase over the second quarter – when Booker brought in just over $4.5 million.
Despite hanging their campaign’s hopes on raking in $1.7 million 10 days before the deadline, Booker’s campaign manager said their strategy moving forward is grounded in their belief that the race remains “wide open,” as well as, efforts to hire 40 new staff members, open offices in early states, launch a ballot access program, build out their email list and kick-start another ambitious push to raise $3 million by the end of October.
Marianne Williamson doubles her two previous quarters with $3 million haul
Scott Olson/Getty Images, FILE
Democratic presidential candidate and self-help author Marianne Williamson speaks at a LGBTQ presidential forum at Coe Colleges Sinclair Auditorium, Sept. 20, 2019, in Cedar Rapids, Iowa.
In the third quarter, author Marianne Williamson doubled both of her previous fundraising quarters, bringing in $3 million between July and September.
Williamson ends the quarter with $655,276 cash on hand. Her campaign notes that Williamson’s total of $6.1 million for the year comes from about 250,000 contributions from 140,000 unique contributors.
Despite her latest haul, which tops Sen. Michael Bennet, Williamson will be on the sidelines for the upcoming debate on Oct. 15, having missed the cut for September. With more stringent qualifications for the winter debates in November and December, Williamson will need to boost her polling in order to qualify.
But her campaign does not appear to be deterred.
“It’s the American people who decide which candidates have a voice that needs to be heard, not the gatekeepers,” said Patricia Ewing, Williamson’s campaign manager.
Steve Bullock brings in $2.3 million, a slight bump from second quarter haul
Montana Gov. Steve Bullock, the only candidate who has won in a state Trump carried in 2016, raised $2.3 million in the third quarter, slightly up from his $2.1 million haul between April and June.
His campaign notes that his individual contributions doubled over the course of the quarter, without listing how many individual donations he received, and 97% of donations were under $200. The average online contribution was $24.
The red-state governor, who has made limiting the influence of money a cornerstone of his campaign, does not appear deterred by his fundraising total, which falls far short of the top-tier candidates.
“Our growing grassroots support helps us build a robust campaign to compete in early states like Iowa and beyond,” said Bullock for President campaign manager Jenn Ridder. “… it’s clear that Governor Bullock’s message of progressive reform is resonating with grassroots supporters across the country. This campaign is built to go the distance, which is why Governor Bullock will continue fighting for his vision of an America where everyone has a fair shot at a better life.”
Michael Bennet raises $2.1 million, $700,000 less than Q2
The campaign for Sen. Michael Bennet, D-Colo., announced Wednesday that it had raised $2.1 million between July and September, which is $700,000 less than the just over $2.8 million raised in the second quarter of the year.
In a press release, the campaign said 86% of contributions were $25 of less, and 98% of contributions were $100 or less.
Justin Sullivan/Getty Images, FILE
Democratic presidential candidate and Sen. Michael Bennet speaks during the Democratic Presidential Committee (DNC) summer meeting, Aug. 23, 2019, in San Francisco, Calif.
As one of the candidates who did not qualify for the third debate, and also won’t qualify for the next debate, according to an ABC News analysis, Bennet campaign spokesperson Shannon Beckham took a swing at the Democratic National Committee (DNC), saying, “Instead of allowing the DNC’s flawed debate criteria to dictate this race, we’re communicating directly with voters and caucusgoers. They believe in Michael’s agenda — one that will not only unite Democrats, but also win back the nine million Obama-Trump voters we need to defeat Trump and take back the Senate.”
Despite having made a seven-figure ad buy in Iowa, the campaign said it still has $1.8 million cash on hand.