Capitol Report: Sanders raises $34.5 million in fourth quarter, topping Buttigieg’s $24.7 million

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For the second quarter in a row, presidential hopeful Bernie Sanders looks on track to rank No. 1 in fundraising among the 2020 Democrats, after the Vermont senator’s campaign on Thursday disclosed a haul of $34.5 million for the period.

Pete Buttigieg, the former mayor of South Bend, Ind., announced a fundraising total of $24.7 million for the fourth quarter on Wednesday, and entrepreneur Andrew Yang also has revealed his result for the past three months at $16.5 million.

With the quarter having ended on Tuesday, presidential campaigns are starting to disclose their fundraising totals for the period, ahead of a Jan. 31 deadline by which figures must be disclosed to the Federal Election Commission.

“Bernie Sanders is closing the year with the most donations of any candidate in history at this point in a presidential campaign,” said his campaign manager, Faiz Shakir, in a statement. Sanders has raised $96 million from more than 5 million individual donations for an average contribution of $18, according to his team. “You build a grassroots movement to beat Donald Trump and create a political revolution one $18 donation at a time, and that’s exactly why Bernie is going to win,” Shakir added. 

Democratic White House hopeful Elizabeth Warren hasn’t released an exact number yet for the fourth quarter, but her campaign last Friday warned in a fundraising email to supporters that it “probably won’t” bring in the $24.6 million that it raised in the third quarter, as it had only raised “a little over $17 million” with five days to go in the period.

In last year’s third quarter, Sanders raised $25.3 million as he brought in the most money for that period among the 2020 Democrats. Buttigieg was No. 1 in the second quarter, getting $24.8 million.

On the Republican side, President Donald Trump’s re-election campaign said Thursday that it had raised $46 million in 2019’s final quarter.

“President Trump’s unprecedented fundraising is testament to his wide grassroots support and his stellar record of achievement on behalf of the American people,” said Trump’s campaign manager, Brad Parscale, in a statement.  “Democrats and the media have been in a sham impeachment frenzy, and the president’s campaign only got bigger and stronger with our best fundraising quarter this cycle.”

In a RealClearPolitics average of polls as of Thursday, former Vice President Joe Biden remains the Democratic presidential front-runner, drawing support of 28.3%. Sanders is at 19.1%, Warren gets 15.1%, and Buttigieg 8.3%. No other contenders are above 5%.

The first voter verdicts in the contest to become the party’s 2020 nominee will come Feb. 3 with the Iowa caucuses. The total number of the Democratic Party’s White House hopefuls remains at a still-high level of 14, even after Julián Castro, the former housing secretary, dropped out Thursday.

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