The third quarter of the year is in the books and candidates across the country have filed their fundraising reports with the FEC. Here are the winners and losers from the latest reporting period.
AR/Intel Insiders: Access the full fundraising numbers for Presidential and U.S. Senate candidates here.
President Trump & the GOP: The president raked in a nearly $41 million in the third quarter, over $12 million more than Sen. Bernie Sanders. While the Democratic field continues to battle amongst themselves, President Trump has amassed an impressive war chest – his campaign has over $83 million on hand. For comparison, former President Barack Obama had just over $61 million on hand at the same point during his presidency. The Republican party as a whole did quite well too. Between the president and the Republican National Committee, the GOP raised $125 million over the last three months, surpassing the $108 million they raised in the second quarter. Combined, the Trump campaign and the RNC have raised more than $308 million in 2019 and begin October with more than $156 million in the bank.
Sens. Bernie Sanders & Elizabeth Warren: Despite pledging to forgo big-dollar fundraising, the progressive senators led the Democratic field in contributions and had receipts totaling $28 million and $24.6 million respectively. Both candidates were buoyed by a large base of small-dollar contributors; according to his report, 60 percent of Sanders’ donations came from individuals giving $200 or less. Nearly $15 million — or about 61% — of the money Warren raised from individual contributors came from small-dollar contributors as well.
Sen. John Cornyn (R-TX): Democrats have long dreamt of turning the Lone Star state blue, but while a large field of Democratic candidates slug it out over who will challenge him next year, Sen. John Cornyn is building a massive war chest. Over the last three months, Cornyn raised over $3.1 million while his next closest competitor, veteran MJ Hegar, only brought in about a third of that. Cornyn also ended the quarter with $10.7 million in the bank, giving him the highest cash on hand total for anyone running for U.S. Senate this cycle and over ten times Hegar’s on hand total.
Former Vice President Joe Biden: Biden saw a significant drop off in fundraising during the summer months. After raising $22 million in the second quarter, Biden was only able to bring in $15.7 million from July through September, putting him behind the likes of Warren, Sanders, and Buttigieg. Perhaps even more alarming, Biden burned through his cash reserves last quarter, leaving him with a depleted war chest. The Biden campaign spent $17.6 million over the last three months, leaving him with just under $9 million on hand as he heads into the final months of the year. The total leaves the former vice president with a significant cash disadvantage against the likes of Sanders and Warren, who respectively have $33.7 million and $25 million on hand.
Tom Steyer: The billionaire hedge fund manager was able to pull together enough individual contributions to make the stage for the third primary debate, but his candidacy continues to be funded primarily by his own bank account. Steyer reported raising $49.6 million in the third quarter, but $47.6 million of that came from Steyer himself. His campaign burned through nearly the same amount on operating expenses in the third quarter. Observers noted that Steyer spoke for about 7 minutes during this week’s debate, meaning he spent about $109,000 per second to have his time on the stage.
Sen. Gary Peters (D-MI): The incumbent Senator raised $2.5 million in the third quarter but the real story in Michigan is that his Republican challenger, businessman John James, outpaced that total. James brought in over $3 million during the last three months and was able to cut Peter’s cash on hand advantage in half. Peters is facing a tough reelection bid in a state that President Trump carried in 2016. Michigan is expected to be heavily targeted this cycle and the fact that Peters is being outraised should raise red flags for Democrats. Recent polling shows Peters with a narrow, 3-point lead over James and the incumbent is also battling a name-recognition problem. According to Morning Consult, Peters is America’s least-known senator, with 37 percent of voters saying they don’t know or have no opinion about him.