A slew of Democratic presidential candidates spent more than they fundraised from donors over the past three months, a warning sign as campaigns try to stockpile cash ahead of the looming caucuses and primaries.
Those candidates include Minnesota Sen. Amy Klobuchar, former Texas Rep. Beto O’Rourke, California Sen. Kamala Harris, New Jersey Sen. Cory Booker and former Vice President Joe Biden.
In the third quarter, Biden’s campaign spent $17.7 million, despite only hauling in about $15.7 million, and ended the quarter with roughly $9 million on hand. Harris, meanwhile, raised $11.7 million in individual contributions but spent about $14.6 million. At the end of September, her campaign had $10.5 million on hand.
Likewise, O’Rourke garnered $4.5 million in donations, but spent $6.4 million, finishing with $3.3 million.
Five candidates — including former Housing Secretary Julián Castro and Ohio Rep. Tim Ryan — ended the quarter with less than $1 million in their coffers.
Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders led the crowded field in cash on hand (and fundraising) with $33.8 million, according to new FEC filings. Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren placed second, with $25.7 million, followed by South Bend, Indiana Mayor Pete Buttigieg, who had $23.4 million cash on hand. California Sen. Kamala Harris was the only other presidential candidate, at $10.5 million, to end the quarter with more than $10 million in the bank.
Of the top three candidates in early polls, Sanders and Warren are the only two to eschew traditional, big donor events, instead relying on small donors.
Buttigieg blasted that strategy ahead of the fourth Democratic debate on Tuesday night, warning that Democrats can’t beat President Trump by relying on “pocket change” to fund their campaigns. (In response, Warren issued a pointed statement and proposal to “get big money out of politics.)
Still, Trump, at the end of the third quarter, had $83.2 million — more cash on hand that the three best-funded Democrats combined.
A new survey released on Monday revealed that Democrats in New Hampshire, the state that’s holding the first primary race in 2020, would consider backing former first lady Michelle Obama, were she to enter the race.
Obama has repeatedly dismissed that notion, nor has she hinted at any political runs in the near future. If she did, however, she’d likely enter New Hampshire in a three-way tie for the top spot, with Warren at 25 percent, Biden at 24 percent and Sanders at 22 percent, according to the Boston Herald-Franklin Pierce University Survey.