Candidates running for president in 2020 were required to file fundraising disclosures by midnight on April 15.
Axios has compiled information based on the disclosures to present how much money each candidate has raised. While President Donald Trump reported more money than any of his Democrat challengers, the majority (73%) of his $30.3 million raised in the first quarter comes from transfers from other accounts, such as his last election campaign.
Sen. Bernie Sanders (D-VT) lead the pack on raw fundraising totals, with the vast majority (74%) of his $20.7 million raised coming from individual donors giving less than $200. Sen. Kamala Harris (D-CA) looks like the big money candidate, with the majority (57%) of her $13.2 million raised coming from individual donations of more than $200.
Rep. John Delaney (D-MD) has the oddest bar on the Axios’ chart, with nearly all (97%) of his $12.1 million fundraising total listed in the “other” category (as opposed to individual donors or transfers).
There are several candidates who appear to have only raised money, instead of transferring from their House or Senate campaigns. Failed senate candidate Beto O’Rourke, South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg, Washington Gov. Jay Inslee, former Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper, entrepreneur Andrew Yang, author and activist Marianne Williamson, former Housing and Urban Development Secretary Julian Castro, and Miramar Mayor Wayne Messam have all reported that nearly 100% of their fundraising came from individual donors.
This is just the first quarter of fundraising and is thus a snapshot of the race in the early stages. This doesn’t necessarily mean that Castro or Hickenlooper have no chance, but, as Axios reported, these early totals do have some takeaways:
Early fundraising totals are an indicator of candidates' capacity to power a national presidential campaign that rely largely on name recognition and enthusiasm. The number of individual donors each candidate reports will be viewed as especially important in this cycle's Democratic primary as a measure of grassroots support.
Based on these totals, the “grassroots support” appears to be with Sanders, O’Rourke, and Buttigieg.
One candidate I have not mentioned is Sen. Elizabeth Warren. She comes in third place in reported fundraising totals ($16.5 million), but that is due to a massive $10.4 million transfer, probably in part from her senate campaign.
If we line up these totals with the Real Clear Politics polling average (which includes former Vice President Joe Biden, who hasn’t officially declared yet), we see a slightly different picture.
Biden leads the pack in the polls, with Sander’s about 8 points behind. O’Rourke comes in far below them at 8.8% with Harris at 8.5%. Buttigieg and Warren are next, at 6% each.
We can see that the total raised (not including transfers or “other") lines up pretty well with where the candidates are in the polls.