The top Democratic candidates raised nearly $100 million for the 2020 presidential election in the second quarter of 2019, with Pete Buttigieg, the Indiana mayor, in the lead.
Both Buttigieg and former vice president Joe Biden, the second-highest fundraiser, relied heavily on traditional big-ticket events to raise over $20 million each in the three months. Buttigieg, for example, routinely held multiple fundraising events in a single day. He also courted “bundlers” who pledge to raise as much as $250,000 for the campaign, in return for special perks briefings from to top campaign officials. Biden has held fundraisers with Democratic party officials around the country. Tickets can cost more than $2,800 a person.
But the biggest surprise during the quarter may have come from Massachusetts senator Elizabeth Warren, who said today she raised nearly as much as Biden, without holding any fundraisers at all. Instead, 384,000 people gave an average gift of $28, the Warren campaign said. (Some were repeat donors).
Vermont senator Bernie Sanders also relies on grassroots donations, and his campaign said they’d received “nearly a million” donations for a total of $18 million in the second quarter.
Most other Democratic candidates have not yet declared how much money they raised. Together with the Republican National Committee, Donald Trump’s reelection campaign raised more than all five top Democrats combined in the second quarter, some $105 million.