The latest federal fundraising reports filed with the Federal Election Commission on Monday revealed a widening gap between five early frontrunners and those who continue to lag in polling – and financing – in a crowded field of Democratic presidential hopefuls
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Five candidates – former Vice President Joe Biden, Sens. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., Kamala Harris, D-Calif., and Mayor of South Bend, Indiana Pete Buttigieg – largely pulled ahead of the competition, together raising almost $100 million over the course of the past three months, federal filings show.
The early frontrunners each raised eight-digit sums in the second quarter of 2019, while the remaining 17 candidates, by comparison, struggled to keep their campaigns afloat financially. For instance, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio pulled in about $1.1 million, and Montana Gov. Steve Bullock raised closer to $2 million (interestingly, de Blasio qualified for the first round of debates - while Bullock did not). Ohio Rep. Tim Ryan, meanwhile, only raised $889,399.
Buttigieg, who entered the race in January as a relatively unknown candidate, raised a whopping $24.9 million, more than tripling his fundraising from the first quarter. Only Sanders, I-Vt., raised more than Buttigieg, pulling in a total $25.6 million. His campaign ended the quarter with a total $27 million on hand, filings revealed.
Warren -- who leads in polls, alongside Biden and Sanders -- fundraised about $19.1 million, ending the quarter with $19.7 million in cash on hand. Biden amassed about $22 million in the second quarter (he announced at the end of April, and the second quarter accounts for donations accepted between April 1 and June 30).
Other campaigns seemed to lose some momentum in the second quarter.
Former Texas Rep. Beto O’Rourke brought in $3.6 million in the second quarter, significantly less than his first-quarter fundraising haul of $9.4 million. Sen. Cory Booker, D-N.J., also saw a fundraising drop-off: He raked in about $7.9 million in the first quarter, but that fell to $4.5 million in the second quarter.
Democrats have been largely focused on raising money in the primary, but will eventually have to duke it out with President Trump, whose re-election campaign outpaced every single Democratic nominee, racking up a total $26.5 million in the second quarter. He ended with about $300,000 cash on hand.
The second-quarter fundraising data also comes just a few weeks before CNN’s Democratic debates in Detroit at the end of the month, the second of 2019. Already, 21 candidates have met the necessary qualifications -- they earned at least 1 percent of the vote in three national or early-primary state polls conducted by qualifying pollsters, or received donations from at least 65,000 unique donors, including at least 200 individual donors in at least 20 states.
Because more than 20 candidates will qualify, the Democratic National Committee will prioritize those who have met both the donor and polling thresholds, followed by candidates who only have the polling benchmark.