2020 Democrats: Who’s got the cash, where it’s coming from and what it means


AUSTIN (KXAN) — Money isn’t everything but it helps — especially in politics. We just went through the first quarter of the 2020 Democratic primary for President and here is what we know about 2020 fundraising. 

Small donations are big

Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders leads the pack after telling the FEC in Quarter 1 that he raised $18.2 million. He came into this race with a massive database of donors from his 2016 run. 

After Sanders, Senator Kamala Harris raised the most with $12 million, and former Congressman Beto O’Rourke followed with $9.4 million. Most of this money is coming from small donors, a newly powerful political force that Democrats have tapped into with the advent of online networks like ActBlue; which makes donating simple and fast. 

It’s easier for Senators 

But they’re not the only ones with money. Senators and other officeholders in D.C. have unique advantages over governors and other state leaders because they can transfer campaign money between accounts. 

That’s what happened for Elizabeth Warren, D-Massachusetts, and Kirsten Gillibrand, D-New York. They both switched around $10 million from their account for United States Senate to an account for President of the United States. 


Then you have outliers like former Congressman John Delaney who put in millions of his own money to compete. Then, former Vice President Joe Biden, who entered the field after the Q1 deadline so there’s no official report; but his campaign says they raised more than $6.3 million in the first 24 hours, more than anyone else in the first day.  

But money doesn’t guarantee victory. 

Former Governor Jeb Bush raised a great deal of money in 2016 only to lose the nomination to the eventual president, Donald Trump. 

Money does, however, allow a candidate to stay in the conversation longer and it allows you to get your name in front of voters more often.

Winner takes on President Trump 

Whoever comes out of the Democratic Primary will most likely face incumbent Trump, who raised $30 million in Q1. 

24/7 campaigning 

Remember the last presidential election when politicos thought Senator Ted Cruz announced so early, in March 2015? The Democratic race already has 20 candidates in the race and many of them will have the resources to make voters know about it.

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