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Dickinson writes: "The official disclosure deadline is not until July 15th, but 2020 candidates are already touting the millions they raised in the second quarter of 2019."

Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-MA, poses for a photograph during an American Federation of Teachers town hall event, at the Plumbers Local 690 Union Hall in Philadelphia, 13 May 2019. (photo: Matt Rourke/AP/Shutterstock)
Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-MA, poses for a photograph during an American Federation of Teachers town hall event, at the Plumbers Local 690 Union Hall in Philadelphia, 13 May 2019. (photo: Matt Rourke/AP/Shutterstock)

Is Elizabeth Warren Building a Grassroots Juggernaut?

By Tim Dickinson, Rolling Stone

09 July 19

As Trump builds a huge re-election war chest, and Pete Buttigieg surges to the lead in Democratic fundraising, Warren’s small-dollar donor network has quietly become a powerhouse

he official disclosure deadline is not until July 15th, but 2020 candidates are already touting the millions they raised in the second quarter of 2019.

The top rainmaker of the quarter, by far, is President Donald Trump. His campaign, in conjunction with the Republican National Committee, says it raised $105 million from April through June, in line with the target of raising $1 billion in re-election funds. Trump officials have bragged the bounty gives the campaign enough money to begin targeting unlikely battlegrounds, including habitually blue states like Minnesota, New Mexico, and Oregon.

On the Democratic side, the unlikely top fundraiser for the quarter appears to be Pete Buttigieg. The South Bend, Indiana, mayor says his campaign raised nearly $25 million from nearly 300,000 donors, for an average donation of about $85. Unlike several more progressive rivals, Buttigieg has been courting large donors, appearing at nearly 50 large-dollar fundraisers, including on Martha’s Vineyard and Nantucket. Buttigieg’s surge in the polls seems to have leveled off, as his campaign has struggled to make inroads with voters of color. But Buttigieg has the resources to compete for the long haul, with more than $22 million cash on hand.

Joe Biden, who is coming off an unsteady first debate performance but is still leading in national polls, raised $21.5 million for the quarter. The total is underwhelming, and not just because the former vice president was bested by the boyish Mayor Pete.

Unlike other candidates who launched their candidacies in the first quarter, Biden did not officially declare his bid until April 25th. But his Q2 total includes his opening fundraising surge, $6.3 million in the first 24 hours of his campaign. Still, Biden is showing breadth of support, in addition to raking in big bucks. The campaign touts 265,000 donors, with 97 percent of donations under $200.

Elizabeth Warren delivered perhaps the most impressive result for the quarter. Despite swearing off the type fundraising events where big donors trade dollars for access and influence, the Massachusetts senator raised $19.1 million from nearly 384,000 donors, with an average donation of about $28.

Warren’s decision not to hold traditional big-dollar fundraisers was a high-risk move, but it appears to be paying significant rewards. Warren outraised Bernie Sanders, who has a similar grassroots fundraising orientation, despite his advantage of entering the 2020 race with a nationwide network from his 2016 bid. 

Sanders, no slouch, raised $18 million for the quarter — essentially equaling his first quarter haul. His grassroots money machine was fueled by average donations of $18, with 99 percent of contributions coming in at $100 or less. (The $24 million figure touted below includes a $6 million transfer from other campaign accounts.)

Kamala Harris may have killed it in the first Democratic debates, but she’s trailing the leaders in the money chase. The California senator raised $12 million for the quarter, including a $2 million post-debate surge, from roughly 280,000 donors. While she’s not exactly hurting for cash, it’s notable that Harris’ combined total for the first two quarters ($23 million) is less than Buttigieg’s haul for this quarter alone.

Most other candidates have been mum on their money totals. But a few back-of-the-pack Democrats have disclosed their donation totals:

Michael Bennet, the senator from Colorado, has raised $2.8 million.

Steve Bullock, the Montana governor has raised $2 million.

The struggling campaign of former Colorado governor John Hickenlooper has reportedly raised $1 million, despite running a centrist-donor friendly campaign. (Taking responsibility for the sorry state of his campaign, Hick has admitted to not naturally “being real smooth with wealthy donors.”)

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+9 # Rodion Raskolnikov 2019-07-09 16:10
I'm really surprised to see Buttijig raising so much money. He did very poorly at the debate. His troubles in his home town are growing. If he can't govern South Bend, Indiana, what makes anyone think he can govern the world from Washington.

I think Warren is doing all the right things. She is making connections with people. She's following Sanders' model and it is the way to victory in 2020. I don't think this will be a campaign about who has the most money. Money did not work in 2016 and it is even less attractive to voters now.
+6 # librarian1984 2019-07-09 21:19
I thought it said a lot when Buttegieg admitted that in two terms as mayor he's been unable to diversify the police force. Either he didn't want to or he couldn't, and if the latter, how does he hope to solve any of the many problems the next POTUS will face?

He speaks well and with assurance, but being the mayor of a small Indiana city does not qualify someone for president, especially at such a critical time -- and that goes for Bill Maher and Michael Moore, too, who've both decided Oprah Winfrey should be our candidate!

I am so sick of these articles about how much money is raised, when that should be one graph in a story comparing candidates' policies. I even saw a story that compared how many words each candidate spoke in the first debate, and how many minutes! But not one word comparing their health care plans, or ideas to combat climate change.
0 # Rodion Raskolnikov 2019-07-10 12:11
Yes, I agree that he speaks well and comes off as confident and pleasant. But the content of his answers is just abysmal. Even Swallowwell called him on the "I just did not get it done" answer as to why he has not hired more African American cops. Swallowwell said, "you are the mayor. Just fire the police chief."

Clearly he has been a very ineffective mayor. He's not ready to run for president. I'm guessing he knows that. He's just preparing for some time in the 2030s or 40s. He'll run for governor of Indiana next.

It is the same with Harris. She's all show but if you really pay attention to her words, they are non-sense and most not true. For her, this is theatre or drama. She's a drama queen.
0 # Tjerzyk1 2019-07-10 06:33
He didn’t struggle at all. Did well AND was very honest, open about the struggles in his city which are those of cities all across US
+2 # lfeuille 2019-07-10 19:29
He's getting the money from the people Bernie and Elizabeth refuse to solicit. They have more than anyone else. This is no surprise.
-6 # anarchteacher 2019-07-09 23:26

Elizabeth Warren, Statist Scold
+6 # futhark 2019-07-10 02:10
A candidates's efforts to garner funds from "Big Donors" is a definite turn-off for me. Elizabeth Warren is strong because she talks sense about the issue people care about.
+2 # Rodion Raskolnikov 2019-07-10 13:24
furth -- I"m with you. Fund raising trips to the Hamptons or Martha's Vineyard don't inspire confidence at all. They smell a lot like a sell out. They worked for Clinton and Obama but those days are long gone.
0 # coberly 2019-07-10 07:23
warren needs to be at he border.
0 # librarian1984 2019-07-11 12:54
Here's the Rational National discussing Cornel West's recent takedown of Biden and Harris on CNN:
+1 # Rodion Raskolnikov 2019-07-12 18:48
Thanks. It is a good video. His point that this is the critical era of Bernie Sanders is right on the mark. Sanders sets the agenda. Sanders shows the direction. Everyone is reacting to Sanders. None of the other candidates are really worth much on their own. they are chips off of Sanders.

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