DemDaily: The Candidates: By The Numbers

October 7, 2019

The third quarter fundraising totals for some of the 2020 presidential contenders have been released, with the top performers touting their viability via the numbers.

The numbers cover from July 1st through September 30th. Candidates have a deadline of October 15th to file their totals with the Federal Election Commission.

The Numbers
Senator Bernie Sanders topped the field, with a haul of $25.3 million, closely followed by Senator Elizabeth Warren at $24.6 million.

Together, they raised almost as much as the next four combined, and exceeded their previous quarter performances.

Top contenders Joe Biden and Pete Buttigieg saw their numbers decline, and Kamala Harris raised a comparable amount but still less than her first quarter.

Half the field has yet to release their numbers, inluding Tom Steyer, Beto O'Rourke Amy Klobuchar and Julian Castro.

Why It Matters
Fundraising performance is traditionally viewed as an indicator of the strength of a campaign and a candidate's ability to improve on past reporting figures a sign of momentum for their candidacy.

These figures not only separate them from the rest of the field, but are an indicator of the resources on-hand to further fuel their ability to fundraise and expand their operation on the ground, online and on air.


However, while money may indicate a depth of dedicated
support, it doesn't necessarily mean breadth.

Senator Cory Booker exceeded his second quarter numbers by $1.5 million and tech entrepreneur Andrew Yang's raised $10 million, more than three times his second quarter numbers. Both, however, are more than 20 points behind frontrunners Joe Biden and Elizabeth Warren in national polls.

Similarly, fundraising champ Sanders now lags an average of 12% points behind Biden and Warren in national polls, and Buttigieg 20% points behind.

A RealClearPolitics average of the four most recent national
polls (9/23/19-10/3/19) shows Biden at 26.3%, Warren 26%,
Sanders 14.3%, Buttigieg 6%, Harris 4.8%, Yang 2.8%,
O'Rourke 2.3%, Booker 1.5% and the rest at 1% or less.

The numbers generally reflect the same divide between the top two and the rest of the field in Iowa polls. However, the order shakes up for the next tier in other early-state polling -- providing hope for some to elevate their standing in the remaining four months until the start of the presidential primary calendar.

The Next Test
A total of 12 candidates have qualified for the fourth Democratic primary debateOctober 15th in Westerville, Ohio. They include: Joe Biden, Cory Booker, Pete Buttigieg, Julian Castro, Kamala Harris, Amy Klobuchar, Beto O'Rourke, Bernie Sanders, Tom Steyer, Elizabeth Warren and Andrew Yang.

The Larger Picture
President Trump's campaign and the Republican National Committee raised $125 million in the third quarter, for a total of $308 million raised in 2019 to support the president's reelection. The figure marks a new presidential fundraising record.


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Kimberly Scott

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Sources: FEC, Center for Responsive Politics, CNN

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