While candidates aren’t required to submit their final reports until July 15, various Democrats running for the 2020 Democratic presidential nomination have been releasing their second quarter fundraising numbers and Elizabeth Warren’s totals are impressive. She raised $19.1 million during the last three months, which isn’t the highest total (that title belongs to Mayor Pete with his $24.8 million haul) but her donations are coming from the grassroots because she hasn’t been holding any high dollar fundraisers.
A closer look at the numbers shows Sen. Warren had 384,000 individual donors who averaged $28 per donation. Despite being out raised by both Biden and Mayor Pete, she had more donors than both (Biden had 256,000 and Mayor Pete had 294,000). Combine this with how she’s been focused in on meeting with as many people as possible throughout the campaign and it becomes clear she has an ability to grow her base of support. The campaign’s hoping that’s illustrated by how 80% of her donors gave for the first time during the second quarter, which her people suggest more and more people are beginning to support her campaign.
Since a lot of people believe Sen. Warren and Bernie Sanders are competing for a lot of the same supporters from the progressive, populist wing of the Democratic Party, it’s also worth comparing how the two of them did. Sanders’ campaign reported raising $18 million during the second quarter from “nearly 1 million donors,” 200,000 of which supposedly came after the first debate. The number of donors is certainly impressive, but the fact that the Sanders campaign isn’t highlighting how many new donors he had and how his totals actually declined this quarter suggests his support might be a little stagnant and unable to expand beyond the base he built during the 2016 campaign.
What’s perhaps the most telling about the entire reporting process is that Warren’s argument that candidates shouldn’t have to rely on uber wealthy high dollar donors seems to be producing results that make her competitive and could be used to chip into former VP Joe Biden’s lead in the polls. She’s already digging into Biden by saying she doesn’t “spend time at fancy fundraisers” and instead spends “time meeting voters and thanking grassroots donors who chip in what they can.”
Warren’s efforts on this front appear to be paying some dividends beyond the fundraising numbers as there have been several articles published that point out how Biden isn’t spending much time actually campaigning and getting to know the voters. This paints Biden as out of touch and is drastically different than the coverage that frequently highlights the tens of thousands with supporters Sen. Warren’s taken at events like the 107 town hall meetings she’s held.
With all this in mind, all of the Democrats running for president were largely out raised by Donald Trump. Trump raised $54 million in the second quarter, which gives him a substantial advantage that is at least in part because the Republicans are having over 20 candidates running for their party’s nomination. If you combine all of the seven Democrats who have announced their fundraising totals, they’ve raised $100.2 million, but there’s no guarantee all those donors will be financially supporting the nominee if their candidates doesn’t win.
As the campaign is kicking up with debates and actual voting getting closer, the fundraising numbers will now be more closely analyzed. It’ll therefore be interesting to see which candidates can use their momentum to build their war chest even higher.